Frequently Asked Questions for Businesses Impacted by the Flatiron District Steam Explosion

Our Emergency Response Unit (ERU) is here to represent the needs of businesses impacted by the Flatiron District steam explosion and connect them to information and services. Below, please find responses to questions SBS has received about this incident from local businesses, to date. Sign up here for updates.

NOTE: The reception center closed on Monday, July 30, 2018, at 5 p.m.

How can I speak with an SBS representative?

To reach our ERU by phone, call 212.618.8810.

Has the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) issued any guidance for restaurants in the impacted area?

Yes. You can get DOHMH's most current advice (excerpted below) by calling 311.


What steps must happen before an affected building can be reopened?
City agencies, Con Edison, and building owners must work together to complete these steps:

  • Cleaning the outside of the building
  • Re-inspecting the outside of the building after cleaning
  • Inspecting the roof and common areas for debris
  • Removing any debris from the roof and common areas of the building
  • Replacing HVAC filters if the building has a central HVAC system
  • ssessing and analyzing indoor air quality

Building owners will receive a letter from the Health Department and the Department of Environmental Protection when their building is ready for re-occupancy.

Once a building can be re-occupied, any restaurant it houses may reopen. The Health Department does not require a food safety inspection.

When will I be able to access my business in a building impacted by the explosion?

This is unknown, but it is more likely to be days rather than hours. For public safety, assessment of the asbestos risk and decontamination of properties must occur before access to businesses is restored.

Get the most up-to-date information on each building that was evacuated or affected by the steam explosion.

What steps should I take to minimize business losses?

Now is the time to activate your business emergency plan.

  • Inform your employees of the closure, what help is needed, and how they will receive further updates.
  • Contact suppliers to cancel or reschedule deliveries.
  • Inform customers:
    • Update outgoing voicemail message (remotely).
    • Update business website & social media pages.
    • Set up automatic response for emails.
  • Review business insurance policies and begin preparations to support your claim(s) (gather receipts, collect photos, contact insurer, etc.)
  • Consider purchasing business interruption insurance, if you have not already done so.
  • Once it is safe to access your business, ensure that the premises are secured.

Will I receive compensation for business losses due to this incident?

Insurance is your first line of defense. Business interruption insurance may provide some compensation for lost revenues. Our staff can assist you with insurance claim difficulties you may experience.

You may also file claims with Con Edison for losses due to this incident:

Additionally, Renaissance Economic Development Corporation has set up a Flatiron District Steam Pipe Explosion Emergency Loan Program.

What are the best sources of up-to-date information about this incident?

How can I be better prepared for future emergencies?

Attend an upcoming webinar on business emergency planning or use this worksheet to create a business emergency plan.