Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Pittsburgh and Allegheny County public safety officials are urging business and residents to build emergency contingency plans in the weeks leading up to the G20 summit. Leaders from the world's 20 most powerful economies and the European Union will come to Pittsburgh September 24th and 25th for two days of meetings. Along with the security demands that comes with 20 world leaders gathering in one place, the G20 events always attract throngs of protesters who have in the past forced the closure of entire city blocks. Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Michael Huss says the city is going to do everything it can to protect downtown residents and businesses as well as the G20 participants but everyone needs to understand that there will be some disruptions. Roads will have to be closed from time to time and extra security will have to be in place throughout the area. He says the contingency plans are not just about moving operations out of the golden triangle. He says managers need to think about getting employees to work and make plans for the possibility that they will not be able to get deliveries or make shipments. Huss says the city will not write the contingency plans for the businesses but they have offered up some help at the website Pittsburghcoalitionforsecurit.org. He says going through the process is as important as having a final plan in hand, because it gives managers a better understanding of the details and builds in more flexibility. That flexibility may be key to any plan. Huss says not all security plans will be known until just before the event and others will not be released until the last moment to ensure tighter security. Allegheny County Emergency Services Director Bob Full says all businesses should have a contingency plan in place. He says if the G20 is the impetus then all the better.