Press Release

For Immediate Release
#22-21

NYC EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO CITY'S HURRICANE EVACUATION ZONES, RELAUNCHES 'KNOW YOUR ZONE' HURRICANE AWARENESS CAMPAIGN


Roughly 1 million New Yorkers change hurricane evacuation zones this hurricane season


June 1, 2021 — To mark the beginning of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, the New York City Emergency Management Department today unveiled the City's revised hurricane evacuation zones. New York City Emergency Management also relaunched the Know Your Zone hurricane awareness campaign to encourage New Yorkers to find out whether they live in one of the City's six hurricane evacuation zones, and take steps to be prepared for coastal storms and hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.

The City's six hurricane evacuation zones have been updated to incorporate new and improved data, as well as information from actual events to allow the City to more accurately define areas most at risk of flooding due to storm surge from a hurricane. Residents who live in these zones may be ordered to evacuate depending on a hurricane's forecast strength, track, and storm surge. If the mayor orders an evacuation of your zone, do so as directed. With these hurricane evacuation zone changes, roughly 1 million New Yorkers now live in a different hurricane evacuation zone than last year.

"New York City is no stranger to coastal storms and hurricanes, and the threat continues to rise," NYC Emergency Management Commissioner John Scrivani said. "Changes to the hurricane evacuation zones will help New York City be better prepared this hurricane season. I encourage all New Yorkers to visit NYC.gov/knowyourzone or call 311 to take the time now to find their hurricane evacuation zone, understand the hazards they may face, and learn the steps they can take to be ready no matter what the season brings."

"New Yorkers have been through extraordinary challenges in the past year. Now, it's on all of us to make sure we're ready for the next emergency ― and that means having a plan for hurricane season," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Knowing your evacuation zone, preparing for flooding, and checking in on your neighbors and the elderly are easy steps that will make a difference when it matters most. Together, let's stay safe this season and build a recovery for all of us."

To help raise awareness of hurricane season and the changes to the City's hurricane evacuation zones, NYC Emergency Management has relaunched its Know Your Zone hurricane awareness campaign. The campaign aims to reach more than 3.1 million New Yorkers living in one of the six zones. As part of this year's campaign, all households and businesses whose hurricane evacuation zone has changed will receive a postcard in the mail this summer. The campaign is also supported by print and digital advertisements, including advertising on Link NYC kiosks throughout the five boroughs beginning in June, followed by bus shelters, subway stations, and multilingual newspaper ads through the fall.

Know Your Zone ad
A 2021 Know Your Zone ad.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its 2021 Atlantic hurricane season outlook with forecasters predicting an above-normal season. For 2021, NOAA expects a likely range of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 5 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70 percent confidence. An average season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

NYC Emergency Management also has released a new episode of its emergency management podcast, "Prep Talk," that outlines the changes to New York City's hurricane evacuation zones along with ways to stay safe and prepared this hurricane season. You can listen to the latest episode on SoundCloud, iTunes, and Spreaker.


MAKE AN EMERGENCY PLAN

Develop a plan with your household members that outlines what to do during an emergency, including a coastal storm. Use Ready New York: My Emergency Plan at NYC.gov/EmergencyManagement. It is available in 13 languages and audio format. For more information, visit NYC.gov/KnowYourZone.
  • If you have a disability, access and functional need, make sure your plan addresses how your needs may affect your ability to evacuate, shelter in place, or communicate with emergency workers. Arrange help from family, friends, or service providers if you will need assistance.
  • Know your zone. Areas of the city subject to storm surge flooding are divided into six evacuation zones (1 through 6) based on risk of storm surge flooding. Use the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder or call 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115), to find out if your address is located in an evacuation zone.
  • Prepare a Go Bag that you can grab in case you need to leave your home in a hurry. You'll need to customize your Go Bag for your personal needs. All household members should have a Go Bag, including children and pets. Visit NYC.gov/EmergencyManagement for tips on what to pack.
  • Stay informed by signing up for Notify NYC to receive emergency notifications. New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City's free emergency communications program, for the latest information and updates on emergency events in NYC. To sign up for Notify NYC, download the free mobile application, visit NYC.gov/NotifyNYC, call 311, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

PREPARE FOR FLOODING

If you live in a flood-susceptible area:
  • Keep sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber on hand to help protect your home.
  • Make an itemized list of personal property, including furnishings, clothing, and valuables.
  • Move valuable items from basements to upper floors. (Basements are vulnerable to flooding.)
  • Know your flood risk. Flood zones are used to set flood insurance rates and building regulations. Residents should not use flood zones to determine the need to evacuate during coastal storms. For more information, visit NYC.gov/floodmaps or www.floodhelpny.org.
  • Consider getting flood insurance. Protection against loss due to floods is not covered under a homeowner's policy. Contact your property/casualty agent or broker about eligibility for flood insurance. For more information, visit the National Flood Insurance Program online at www.floodsmart.gov.

PREPARE FOR POWER OUTAGES

  • Build or restock your emergency supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Charge cell phones and any battery-powered devices.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to a colder setting. If you lose power, items that need refrigeration will stay cooler for longer.
  • Check on friends, relatives, and neighbors, especially older adults and people with disabilities, access and functional needs, or health conditions. Help them to prepare if needed.
  • If you depend on power for life-sustaining equipment, plan to evacuate. You may lose power following a hurricane. Ask your utility company if your medical equipment qualifies you to be listed as a life-sustaining equipment customer.
    • If you or anyone in your home depends on electrically-powered life-sustaining medical equipment (such as a ventilator or cardiac device), receives dialysis or has limited mobility, there are specific steps you should take to prepare for a coastal storm.
For more safety tips, visit NYC.gov/EmergencyManagement. New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City's free, official emergency communications program. Sign up for Notify NYC to receive to receive free emergency alerts and updates in your preferred language. Register for free to receive by visiting NYC.gov/NotifyNYC, calling 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115), following @NotifyNYC on Twitter, or getting the free Notify NYC mobile application for your Apple or Android device.

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