[satire] City Hall Proposes New Legislation in Response to Blackouts

NEW YORK, NY — Following an unusually warm spring, meteorologists are predicting a hot summer for the northeast coast. Along with high summer temperatures comes a surge in power use as city residents often leave air conditioners and fans running 24/7 in order to cool stifling apartments. This high demand takes a toll on the power grid and frequently results in manhole fires, localized power outages, and wide scale blackouts during the dog days of summer.

City officials are proposing legislation to ease the suffering of residents who are subjected to power failures. Many proposals put forth by City Council are developed from lessons learned following the Northeast Blackout in August of 2003 when eight states and parts of Canada lost power. High demand and the subsequent systems failure coupled with human error resulted in this critical power failure in the Eastern Grid. In their resilience, New Yorkers fared exceeding well by making the most of a difficult situation. It is out of the actions taken by everyday citizens that the following proposals have been made.

Prior to blackout or brownout conditions, the following precautionary actions will be implemented when temperatures exceed 92 degrees Fahrenheit:

All elevator and subway operations will cease. In 2003, the Fire Department removed thousands of trapped individuals from stuck elevator cars and stalled subway trains. Shutting down elevators and subways as a precaution will keep firefighters in service for fire duty. This will negate the need to call for additional firefighter staffing and save the city countless dollars in overtime.

Ban all vehicular travel within the five boroughs. Traffic and street lights will fail in the event of a power outage, rendering travel hazardous. Commuters are encouraged to walk, run, or bike to and from work on high heat days. This proposal also helps to support the mayor’s Let’s Get Healthy initiative, particularly after his attempt to ban big sodas failed.

In the event of an actual blackout:

All fire hydrants will be opened. While this may result in a reduction of water pressure and may inhibit the ability to fight fires, the open hydrants will provide residents with an opportunity to stay cool within proximity of their residences. Despite ineffective water pressure, at least open hydrants are readily located by firefighters as opposed to the closed hydrant typically hidden behind a double parked car.

Furthermore, all city-owned pickup trucks will have the truck beds lined with plastic and filled with water in order to create mobile cooling pools to service those who do not have access to hydrants.

All stores and restaurants will be ordered to give away free ice cream. Ice cream makes people happy.

Glow sticks will be available to residents at neighborhood firehouses and police stations. Glow sticks are much safer than candles and you don’t have to fumble around looking for batteries. Plus, they are festive.

Last call will be revoked and bars will remain open all hours. No explanation necessary.

Finally, all blackout days as well as the day following the blackout will be designated unofficial city holidays with pay.


Posted by Pivotal Planning Team — www.theleeksatire.com

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