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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