Tips & Links

Contacting the City in the Event of an Emergency

Take time to plan on how you will talk to friends and family or emergency workers in an emergency. During an emergency, your normal way of communicating may be affected by changes in environment, noise or confusion. Know how and what you will need to communicate during an emergency.

Call 911:

  • When you are in immediate danger or witness a crime in progress.
  • For a serious injury or medical condition.
  • Any other situation needing urgent attention.
  • Do NOT call 911 for non-emergencies or to report a power outage (to allow telephone capacity for emergency calls).

Call 311:

  • When you need access to non-emergency services or information about City government programs.
  • Do NOT call 311 for emergencies.
    • Other ways to connect to 311:
    • Contact 311 online.
    • Text 311-692.
    • Use a Video Relay Service (VRS) at 212-NEW-YORK, (212-639-9675.
    • Use TTY or Text Telephone at (212-504-4115.
    • Call (212) NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) from outside New York City.
    • Skype at NYC311
Emergency Telephone Tips:
  • If you call 911, specify the type of emergency (fire, medical, police) and be prepared to answer questions. During a medical emergency, turn a light on so that emergency responders can find your home.
  • During emergencies, please use the telephone only when absolutely necessary to keep the lines free for emergency calls. If you have broadband Internet access, use NYC.gov.
  • If you have a hearing disability, you can request police, fire, and medical assistance from public pay phones and/or emergency call boxes. For more information, visit the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities online.

If the 911 system becomes unavailable for any reason, call the fire department dispatcher and emergency medical service or your local police precinct.

More Resources

Federal, State, and Local Government Resources

Unless otherwise noted, contact City government offices by calling 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115).

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

New York City Human Resources Administration

Insurance Resources

Tip: buy the right insurance. If you rent your home, renter's insurance will insure the items inside your apartment. If you are a homeowner, make sure your home is properly insured — flood and wind damage are not covered in a basic homeowner's policy.

New York City Comptroller

  • Visit the website
  • 212-669-3916 (hotline); action@comptroller.nyc.gov
    • If you believe damage to your property was the fault of the city, you can submit a claim with the Comptroller, who will investigate the situation and possibly offer a financial settlement for the damage.
    • Claims must be filed within 90 days of a flood event.

National Flood Insurance Program

FEMA Region II Coastal Analysis and Mapping

  • Visit the website
    • The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are used to determine who must buy flood insurance and where floodplain development regulations apply. Note: in June 2013, FEMA Region II released preliminary revisions to New York City flood zones as a result of a new coastal flood study to update the information shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). As the next step in the flood map update process for New York City, FEMA will be issuing Preliminary FIRMs and a Preliminary Flood Insurance Study (FIS), a narrative report of a community's flood hazard. These maps and study are the official version of the Preliminary Work Maps that were released in June 2013, and will go through a public review and comment period as well as an official appeals period. For more information about the flood map update process, visit NYC.gov/floodmaps.

New York State Department of Financial Services

United States Small Business Administration

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety

Insurance Information Institute

Utilities

Tip: if you rely on medical equipment that requires electric power, ask your utility company if the medical equipment qualifies you to be listed as a life-sustaining equipment customer or if you are eligible to register for a priority power restoration program. Learn more

Con Edison 

Public Service Electric and Gas Company – Long Island (PSEG LI)

National Grid

Nongovernmental and Not-for-Profit Service Providers

American Red Cross in Greater New York

Salvation Army: New York Division

New York Cares

New York Disaster Interfaith Services

Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, Inc.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York

United Jewish Appeal

National Organization on Disability's Emergency Preparedness Initiative

Mental Health

NYC Well

For mental health information, a referral, or if you need to talk to someone, call NYC Well, New York City's confidential, 24-hour Mental Health Hotline.

  • English: 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355), Press 2
  • Relay Service for Deaf/Hard of Hearing: Call 711
  • Español: 1-888-692-9355, Press 3
  • 中文: 1-888-692-9355, Press 4

Interpreters are available for 200+ languages. Stay on the line, and you will be connected with a counselor who can connect you to translator services.