Hurricane Sandy brought a new test of New York City’s infrastructure when it made landfall just south of Manhattan in October 2012. As locals surely remember, power was out across much of the city for a week or more. Tunnels were flooded, street signs were blown away, and some of the most vulnerable among us lost their lives. Global warming is happening, and with rising seas and changing air patterns, storms like Sandy are likely to occur more frequently in the future.
Although it’s not ideal, we have to adapt. Luckily, one fore-thinking development company is currently constructing a pair of apartments designed for the worst of crises. This company, JDS, obtained prime real estate along the East River soon after Sandy hit, when the lot was flooded and virtually unusable. However, now that the waters have receded, JDS is building what will be the American Copper Buildings at that scenic location. JDS is well aware of the dangers that this location—and all of New York City—may face when another environmental crisis strikes. For that reason, these buildings will substitute some of the luxuries of their ilk for security features designed to keep residents safe.
The buildings will have huge natural gas-powered generators on the uppermost floors—in place of penthouse suites. These will keep the buildings’ power running even if the rest of New York City suffers a black out. However, in such an event, it will still be necessary to ration emergency power: refrigerators and elevators will still run, and one electric outlet in each unit will be usable to charge cell phones and power electric burners. With these amenities available at the worst of times, JDS believes residents will be able to survive for a week or more before rescue comes. It likely will not be long before other development companies follow suit.