Council Candidate Oberman Proposes Penalties For Those Who Fail To Evacuate During A Hurricane



It’s no small secret that a large amount, perhaps even the majority, of Brooklynites living in Zone A failed to heed the city’s call for a mandatory evacuation during Superstorm Sandy. Some felt the storm would not be as devastating as it proved to be, and reflected on the city’s pointless mandatory evacuation during Hurricane Irene the previous year. The failure to evacuate left many in terror as the waters crashed through the streets, and some, including Manhattan Beach resident Cy Schoenfeld, perished when they could not escape the flood.

City Council candidate Igor Oberman told Sheepshead Bites that mandatory evacuations must truly be mandatory if authorities aim to keep residents safe, and is proposing repercussions for those residents who refuse to leave ahead of future storms.

“If you’re going to say it’s a mandatory evacuation, it’s mandatory,” Oberman said of the evacuation orders. “A rule has to have a kind of duel sided charge, that if you don’t follow something ithis is what happens to you. Otherwise, it’s not a rule.”

In advance of Superstorm Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Office of Emergency Management issued a mandatory evacuation order. However, the mayor made clear that the city would not force people from their homes, instead warning residents that they would be cut off from emergency services during the most perilous hours of the storm – a promise that was kept as police and firefighters largely stayed out of Zone A until the water receded.

But Oberman, who is running to replace term-limited Councilman Michael Nelson, who himself failed to evacuate during the storm, said that’s not good enough, and the city ought to do more. He suggests a series of penalties if one fails to vacate.

“I think there’s a little bit of wordplay that people try to do. It’s mandatory only if you want help, that’s the wordplay they’re trying to pull,” he said. “But if you have a mandatory evacuation you have to ensure the citizens who you’re charged to protect have a way out of the area.”

To motivate homeowners to abandon their property, Oberman said that benefits from the city government and insurance companies ought to be slashed for those who stay home and put both themselves and emergency workers in danger.

“It has to be that if they don’t leave the area, if you don’t follow the rule of law, there has to be a repercussion in terms of being first in line for the benefits of city aid and insurance companies. There has to be prioritization of those who followed the instructions and those that ignored them.”

To do that, he suggested bumping those who failed to comply to the end of the line for benefits like Rapid Repairs, and even a reduced reimbursement from the private insurance companies. He also suggests a reduced deductible from the insurance companies for those who do evacuate.

“There’s got to be a way to say you’ve got to leave, and the repercussions have to be more so. Because if not, it’s not just the loss of property, it’s the loss of lives,” he said.

In addition to the forced evacuation proposal, Oberman’s campaign last week released a short plan for recovery and future storm preparation, which he said is derived from the lessons he learned as president of Trump Village 4, the 4,000-person complex he helped see through Superstorm Sandy.

Oberman’s ideas include a slew of proposals already in the works, although he said he’d like to see them done better and faster. They include the immediate relocation of residents affected by the storm, as FEMA attempted to do. He also suggested the city create a dedicated disaster fund and a stockpile of food and water. Additionally, he wants building codes reformed for structures within a mile of the shoreline, something the Department of City Planning is already working on, and to expedite the discovery and repair of sinkholes before they become larger problems.

Oberman also blasted the current elected officials, saying they need to be more vocal about storm readiness, having apparently put it in their rear-view mirror.

“One of the important things I don’t see any elected discussing is that we’re heading into the next hurricane season, and there’s been nothing done since the last one,” he said.

He added that discussions about infrastructure issues like sewer line improvements are great for long-term planning, but little has been done since Sandy to prepare us for this year’s season – which began in June – and more of the short-term preparations like food and water stockpiling ought to be underway.

“Everyone’s talking about infrastructure, sewers, that kind of thing that’s not going to happen before the next hurricane. So I want everyone to look at where we are, what we’ve done and what can we do for the next one,” he said.

At Trump Village, Oberman said he and his board have implemented a number of improvements to prepare for the next storm, and hopes to see other large residential complexes adopt the ideas.

“I’m confident that we’ve learned our lesson and we’re much more prepared than any other building in New York City. We’re the only complex in New York City that has a satellite phone,” he said, noting that he bought the device because cell phone carriers were too slow to restore lost signals, and the building needed communication to reach out to city agencies and connect residents with their concerned families.

He also said they’re installing solar panels on the roof to energize their water and sewage system – which need electricity to reach the upper floors – in the case of another long-term power outage. They’ve added a waterproof shell around their boiler room as well, and are creating their own stockpile of food, batteries, water and a small generator on an upper-level that won’t be lost to flooding.

He said buildings like his, as well as regular homeowners, should seek to make similar preparations because without legislative changes, the city is likely to repeat what he says was a slow, cumbersome response to Sandy. Asked about the latest proposals from the mayor’s office for improving storm preparation, Oberman was dismissive.

“I’m very happy they brought in 230 generators, [according to a report the mayor issued in May.]That’s a response? And they didn’t come in right away,” he said. “The Office of Emergency Management means when there’s an emergency, manage it. Right after the emergency, not three weeks or a month.”

  • Ann

    Has he given a reason why he didnt evacuate?

    • Subway Stinker

      There are as many reasons not to evacuate as there are homes in our neighborhood. Look at the distress in New Orleands when Katrina victims refused to abandon their pets or had no cars or could not leave because of age and infirmaty. Up until after Katrina,, King Bloomberg would not let us take our pets to a evacuation sheldter, and his advice was leave food and a bowl of water for puppy or kitty. After seeing how many people would rather die in New Orleans than abadnodn their pets, King Bloomberg changed the rules for NYC shelters. At least he got this one correct.

    • Murry

      Michael Nelson did not evacuate.

  • Hoodedmedusa

    Mandatory is mandatory!!
    If its not safe to be in a certain place at a certain time then you have to get the f* out. Why thousands of taxpayers money need to be spent because your as* didn’t wanna leave the house and now you need to be rescued?

  • applegreen

    Oh yeah, thats going to fly.

  • molon labe

    For a looter, I think this idea is wonderful. It was great that the normally useless 61 were totally kept out of the disaster areas gave looters no reason to fear getting arrested. But, the heavily armed home owners who remained behind with their apparently “legal” AK47s did make a looter or two fear for their lives and in a couple of unreported cases lose them. Make looting easier, put this idea into effect now!

    • anony

      heard shot gun the night of sandy, a woman screaming. a van full of men stuck in water tried to break into a home for help… was chased away by retired military officer with a gun. good for him. wtf.

  • bagels

    What a ridiculous notion – that my insurance company would slash my reimbursement because I chose to stay home or that they would reward me with a reduced deductible if I left. Who’s supposed to monitor who followed the rules and who did not?

    • molon labe


  • Anonymous

    I still wouldn’t evacuate.

    Fuck you Oberman you fat fucking sack of shit. Go fuck yourself. I hope you die in a fucking pit you worthless pig.
    Hypocritical shit fuck.

    What a retarded suggestion.
    If anything, Con Edison should be penalized for leaving my area without power for 2 fucking weeks.

    • Supporter of LeftHand Rule

      Anon’s ugly and boorish language not withstanding, he is correct. If we elect people from authoritarian nations we will get a house full of Stalins and Khruschevs. Candidates like Oberman have no intellectual beliefs rooted in representative democracy but likes the Putin-style iron rod.

  • I think most people here stayed.

    That is how people are. They don’t like to evacuate.

  • Ay-non

    Oberman was heard yelling, “If you stay, I’ll fine you myself!” as he pushed an elderly woman out of a wheelchair down the staircase in Trump Village 4 during huuricane Sandy.

    • Lew from Brooklyn

      Perhaps Mr. Oberman would like to seek out the elderly and frail who were unable to get evacuation help and give them 20 lashes in the town square.
      Lew from Brooklyn

      • Next week he’ll be suggesting a rebuilding of the village stocks.

        Witch dunking, anyone?

  • Kman

    Oberman’s punitive solution is wrong-headed. My 94 year old mother lives in the evacuation zone. She suffers from Alzheimer’s disease requires 24-hour home care. I live in the same area. Where is she supposed to evacuate to? She lives in a high rise where heat, hot water and electricity were restored within 24 hours after Superstorm Sandy. She was safer at home than anywhere else. Oberman’s solution would penalize her for being aged and for having a fatal disease. His mean-spirited approach disqualifies him from holding elected office.

  • Tuth

    The Co-op buildings that have boards lead by Russia-raised presidents are basically Soviet Union republics. The presidents are used to dealing with an aging Russian population who do not have a full grasp of the American legal system and are scared of anyone they perceive as having official authority. At this point the president of the board gets conditioned that this is the way things are supposed to be and gets drunk on power leading him to make outlandish claims such as the one write in the article.

  • PayPaul

    Oberman should evacuate the borough for good! Leave Igor! We don’t want your kind around here!!

    • Eduard

      I agree with you… Unfortunately, he will not…Corruption, kickbacks and other easy money keep him here. He is a virus and spread too fast.

  • Eduard

    Igor Oberman did not evacuate himself! That is true! He was moving around with his flashlight due to his “special” relationship with Trump Village Shareholders. He is just afraid of them! While not officially elected he refuses from leaving the Board, but naive Shareholders want to enforce the By-Laws and kick him out. Political speculators like him, love to talk about rules while breaking them on their own. Rules are not for THEM, but only for US, for fools.

  • Karen White

    Convenience Financial Service (CFS)
    113 Bell Avenue essex
    Romford,—RM3 7DH ,UK
    [email protected]

    Welcome to convenience financial service
    Convenience Financial Services is a consumer finance company that
    specializes in providing direct and indirect personal loans,
    automobile loans, home improvement loans, and merchant retail sales
    financing services.

    We give out loans from the range of $1,000 to $50,000,000.Our loans
    are well insured and maximum security is our priority

    We are international loan Lenders that has offered Loans to various individual and firms

    in all parts of the world. our mission is to provide financial assistance
    to individuals and cooperating organizations that need financial services
    to help them meet up with their needs, expectations, and to help improve
    the lives of people and communities. We have 24 hours of complete service for our customers.

    Secured loans
    Bridging loans
    Commercial Finance
    Residential Funding
    Debt consolidation & credit repair
    Dedicated, friendly advisors
    Secured Loans

    Bridging Loans & Commercial Finance
    With specialist commercial & bridging loan advisors, we’re able to help with practically any property or land backed commercial or bridging funding, if your not sure if we can help, simply contact us!

    Bridging loans for buy to let, commercial & residential properties
    Property or land backed commercial & bridging loans
    Instant decision and quick completions
    Mortgage & Remortgage
    Our mortgage and remortgage partners are on hand to discuss your individual needs and talk you through the whole application process from initial enquiry through to submitting the documentation, underwriting and completion.

    We make things as easy as possible by offering straightforward no nonsense advice that works, whether you require a residential or commercial mortgage or remortgage. Our expert advisors can give a comprehensive review and offer you the best deals available, we’ll keep you updated throughout the whole process so you know exactly where your up to from start to finish making the process of applying for finance as stress free as possible.

    Debt Consolidation & Credit Repair
    We can help consolidate your debts and if possible help repair your credit by offering a number of specialist solutions tailored to you circumstances and budget – our debt experts can offer advice to help you repair your credit and get you back in the driving seat.

    Financed and none financed credit repair solutions available
    Debt consolidation loans available with adverse credit
    Access to the whole market
    Bad Credit Loans
    Our bad credit loan advisors will be happy to discuss your individual needs and requirements

    *Available 24hours/7days

    *No Collateral Required.
    *Interest Rate of 2%.
    *Loan Amount: $1000 USD and above.
    *Loan Repayment Schedule Start Six months after.
    *Loan Repayment Grace Period of Six months.
    *Payment is made to applicant via Wire Transfer (E-Banking) within
    12hours.,bank accout30 minutes, to bank account, western union or
    money gram is 15 minutes, via cheaque.

    Contact us today if you need a loan.

    [email protected]

    Convenience Financial Service © 2013