A New York City Buildings Group proposed changes that could be made to better protect buildings from future storms like Hurricane Sandy.
The Building Resiliency Task Force, made up of "more than 200 landlords, property managers, architects, attorneys, city officials and consultants," made 33 recommendations in hopes of preparing the city for future storms, according to Bloomberg.com.
The recommendations included installing exterior plugs for generators and providing drinking water in public areas, in hopes the power outages experienced during past storms would not be repeated.
Higher floors in buildings require an electric pump for water supply, so loss of electricity could be dangerous to the affected residents. The task force suggested common water pumps, which are able to operate up to the sixth floor.
The proposals also suggested toilets and sinks could be disconnected from the electric grid to avoid sanitation concerns.
The group said protection of commercial buildings "is fundamentally a business decision for their owners," but the changes would avoid business disturbances.
Valves could be used to block sewage from getting into basements and equipment stored on higher floors to prevent water damage.
Other concerns brought up by the council included a call to make sure toxic materials would not be exposed to floodwaters. Toxic substances, "can turn flood waters into a toxic soup," the group said.
The group also suggested a competition to "to design a streetscape of attractive raised homes" that were disability friendly. Similar homes were built in New Orleans after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
"Another Sandy is inevitable, and New York isn't ready," Russell Unger, executive director of the council, said in a statement. "But it can be. The task force recommendations are tangible and economically achievable steps."
The report was issued just days after Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued his own proposal to spend billions of dollars on infrastructure changes to protect the city's coastline from future storms.
Hurricane Sandy was the biggest storm affecting New York City in history, it caused 43 deaths, 1,000 people to lose their homes, flooded transit systems, and left thousands without power.