New York blackout casts shadow on communications lines - SIA

New York blackout casts shadow on communications lines - SIA

The Securities Industry Association has highlighted the need for steam generation and multiple means of communications as the chief business continuity lessons from the recent New York power blackout.

The importance of steam generation to business continuity efforts emerged as a new worry in the New York blackout following delays in resumption of trading at the America Stock Exchange due to the outage of a ConEd substation that supplies steam to cool the Exchange's trading floor. The SIA Critical Infrastructure Subcommittee has identified this as a "priority issue" for its agenda.

The extent of disruption to communication lines will also be reviewed. Ways of working with providers of cell phone service to ensure reliable communication during emergencies will be explored, says the SIA. Blackberries, two-way radios, and other devices have been mentioned as alternatives.

The securities industry lobby group says the power failure emphasised the importance of SIA as an information resource during emergencies. Conference calls held beginning the evening of the 14th through Monday, August 18, with members of SIA's Business Continuity Planning and Operations Committees served as a clearinghouse for information from the New York City Office of Emergency Management, financial regulators, the markets, and member-firms.

SIA executive vice president Donald Kittell, notes: "This is a significant enhancement to the industry's emergency procedures added in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks."

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