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Hurricane Irene and NYSE Emergency Plans

Thursday, 25 Aug 2011 | 4:52 PM ET

The NYSE tells me and my producer Robert Hum that they plan to be open on Monday, but they have the usual contingency plans in place for an emergency.

The exchange has alternate power/backup generators for the building/operations here on Wall Street. It has communications systems in place to update floor personnel, traders, employees, etc. on any emergency situations. They are also working with city, state, and federal officials so the NYSE is up to date on any developments.

NYSE's Storm Contingency Plans
Lou Pastina, NYSE Head of Trading Floor Operations, discusses whether the NYSE plans to be open for business on Monday.

If the NYSE floor cannot be opened — either due to technical problems or inability of personnel to get to the Exchange — the electronic NYSE Arca platform could take on trading that would normally have gone through the floor.

At one time, the NYSE did maintain an entirely separate "backup" trading floor — it was in Brooklyn — but that was no longer necessary once the electronic Arca platform was purchased.

As an alternative to a complete closure, the start of trading could also be delayed on a given day if the exchange believes an emergency has caused sufficient disruptions to its floor operations.

The NYSE has backup data servers available as well.

The last time the NYSE floor had to close because of a weather emergency was February 11, 1994. It closed at 2:30pm ET that day due to a snowstorm.

The last time the NYSE floor closed due to a hurricane was on Sept. 27, 1985 — due to Hurricane Gloria.

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  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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