How to prevent a power outage from becoming a crisis

After Tropical Storm Elsa hit New York City, Yury Dvorkin, professor of electrical and computer engineering, member of the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), and author of this article, takes notice of varying degrees of repair rates among the boroughs. With a strong focus on social injustice and inequality, he mentions that while areas like Manhattan had access to power only after a few hours, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn did not have electricity for days. Dvorkin also elaborates on the relationship between financial wealth and race when it comes to restoring services throughout the city. 

“For most people, a power outage is an inconvenience. But for some, it is an emergency that can quickly turn deadly”

Dvorkin’s Power Outage Dashboard, funded by the National Science Foundation, uses data from ConEd to rank the severity of outages from different area codes within New York City, thus helping prioritize repairs.

“The city needs a fundamental change and the tools to affect it,” he writes, “With repairs prioritized in such a way that the most vulnerable, not the most affluent, are serviced first”