Around 3 p.m. ET, Gottlieb learned that wind gusts from Hurricane Sandy had knocked over a crane perched atop a building on W. 57th Street in Manhattan. It dangled 700 feet above the ground, directly across the street from IF management, a talent representation company where Gottlieb is director of PR and communications.
“If I had been in the office I’d have been glued to the TV for updates,” Gottlieb said.
Working remotely and checking (and re-checking) the news is how many people along the Eastern Seaboard spent Monday. Mass transit systems in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Massachusetts were shut down. The New York Stock Exchange closed its doors Monday and Tuesday—the first weather-related closure of that length since 1888—and The New York Times told all nonessential employees to stay home.
Even the Starbucks locations in New York City shut their doors.
Yes, that’s right. No Starbucks.
PR firms were no different, with agencies large and small telling employees to work from home, erring on the side of caution as Sandy careened toward the East Coast, ultimately slamming most directly into New Jersey and metro New York.