First Protocol and Banks Sadler close New York offices as Hurricane Sandy hits

Events have been cancelled and agency offices closed as Hurricane Sandy whipped across the north east US.

New York has been battered by Hurricane Sandy
New York has been battered by Hurricane Sandy

Major disaster

New York City has been declared a ‘major disaster’ zone by US President Barack Obama.

A total of 17 people were killed and 7,000 left without power on the east coast of the States.

Hell’s Kitchen

First Protocol’s president Maureen Ryan Fable spoke exclusively to C&IT from her apartment in Hell’s Kitchen, close to the agency’s Manhattan office.

"Our primary concern has clearly been for the safety of our people and their families," she said.

"We took the decision last week to close our Manhattan office yesterday and it will remain closed today while we assess the situation. Following discussions with our managed service clients last week, our implant teams were also instructed to work remotely. We are pleased to report that all of the team have reported in this morning and are safe."

Events cancelled

"Our other focus has been to ensure business continuity," she added. "We have invested heavily in our IT infrastructure and business continuity planning and are confident our teams will be able to deliver business as usual from their homes. The major threat to business as usual is of course power cuts, but again we have contingency plans in place to mitigate this threat.

"In terms of delivery, all events were cancelled last week and we will be working with our clients, partners and suppliers to mitigate the financial impact of any postponements and cancellations for all involved."

Flooding

Meanwhile, Banks Sadler’s director for North America Saxon Heffernan, who heads up the agency’s New York office, said: "Everyone is safe and well thankfully, but unfortunately obviously due to the transport network out and flooding we have had to close the New York office but are continuing to support our clients with our other offices working remotely."

Meanwhile, at BCD M&I’s global headquarters in Chicago, further inland, it was business as usual, despite hundreds of flights out of the city’s O’Hare International Airport being cancelled.

BCD M&I vice president operations EMEA Matthew Wall added: "The ‘Windy City’ is experiencing high winds today, I know, as a result of the hurricane, but it’s much less dramatic there than on the East Coast."

Google and Facebook cancelled events due to be held in New York this week, as a result of the storm threat.

Meanwhile, Concise - which supplies iPads to the events industry - has been affected with its New York office in blackout.

Have you been affected by the superstorm in the US? Share your stories with us @citmagazine or email magda.ibrahim@haymarket.com

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