Jerome M. Hauer, who as the first director of the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management oversaw New York City’s response to floods, manhole explosions, mold outbreaks, building collapses, water main breaks, blackouts, hurricanes, sink holes, downed trees, terrorist threats, vermin and the uncertain digital impact on computer networks of Y2K, the turn of the millennium, died on Aug. 11 at his home in Alexandria, Va. He was 71.
The cause was prostate cancer, his wife, Traci L. Hauer, said.
Working under Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani from 1996 to 2000, Mr. Hauer “won widespread cooperation” from other city agencies and from the state and federal governments, the urban historian Fred Siegel wrote in “The Prince of the City: Giuliani, New York, and the Genius of American Life” (2005). He was “a big, plain-spoken and knowledgeable man,” added Mr. Siegel, who died in May.
Mr. Hauer developed an early and comprehensive response to the threat of a bioterrorism attack and to the proliferation of the West Nile virus in the city, rallying relevant agencies to the cause. He later took what he had learned working for the city and applied it to emergency and risk management jobs for New York State and for the federal government, both during and after major crises — including the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, the subsequent anthrax threat and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
“He was a unicorn, a truly singular individual, a man for crises in all seasons,” William J. Bratton, who as New York’s police commissioner worked with Mr. Hauer in city government, said in a phone interview.