New York business owners are boarding up their storefronts in response to warnings from the New York Police Department of unrest on and after Election Day.
From Soho up to midtown, stores from Ann Taylor to Bed Bath & Beyond have been hammering up boards over their plate glass windows since the end of last week.
Ten days ago, The NYPD advised businesses located in Midtown Manhattan to take additional security measures in preparation for the possibility of large-scale demonstrations around the coming presidential election.
They told local businesses in a letter that they are enacting preparations for Election Day “similar to those utilized during major planned events such as New Year’s Eve, Macy’s July 4 Fireworks, and Thanksgiving Day Parade.”
The letter also advised owners to move or secure trash cans, planters, and street furniture located outside stores before Tuesday’s election.
Robert Benfatto, the president of Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance, told the Wall Street Journal that he had participated in the call about election preparations with NYPD officials. He said he felt confident that the department is better prepared for any looting or property damage.
“I don’t think it’s going to be that dramatic,” worker Harold Samaniedo told the New York Post as he installed boards across the Bed Bath & Beyond downtown.
If anything, all the boarding up is just scaring people who weren’t otherwise scared, he added. “Some of them, they’ll walk in, and they’ll ask me, ‘Man, what’s going on?’ It’s alarming.”
We’re checking with Hell’s Kitchen businesses (including Pat Hughes from Hellcat Annie’s) on whether they have boarding up plans for Tuesday.