How to Prepare for Hurricane Season in NYC

Apicha Community Health Center Aug 16, 2018  

Apicha CHC

Did you know hurricane season is from June 1 to November 1? Although hurricanes don't always happen, it's important to be prepared and safe. Every New Yorker should have a plan to either evacuate, or be prepared to safely wait for the storm to end at home.

In order to stay safe, healthy, and hopefully dry, here are the steps you can take to prepare for hurricane season in New York City.

What is a hurricane?

A hurricane is a tropical cycle with winds of 74 mph or greater.

How will I know if a hurricane is going to hit NYC?

There will be a city/state announcement that hurricane conditions are possible within a specified area. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours before tropical-storm-force winds are predicted to occur. A hurricane warning can also happen, which is an announcement that hurricane conditions are expected within a specific area. The warning is issued 36 hours before a storm is expected to take place.

What is a storm surge?

A storm surge is water pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm. A storm surge watch is the possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area, generally within 48 hours, in association with an ongoing or potential tropical cyclones, a subtropical cyclone or a post-tropical cyclone.

A storm surge warning is the danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area, generally within 36 hours, in association with an ongoing or potential tropical cyclones, a subtropical cyclone or a post-tropical cyclone.

How will I know if where I live in NYC will be affected?

Hurricanes and storms don’t always hit every part of a city. Often times, there is a protocol for each city zone.

There are six hurricane evacuation zones in New York City, ranked by the risk of storm surge impact, with zone 1 being the most likely to flood. In the event of a hurricane or tropical storm, residents in these zones may be ordered to evacuate.


Tips to prepare for a hurricane

1. Make a plan.

Whether you live alone or with friends or family, create a plan on what to do in the event of a hurricane. Plan where to meet and find each other and how to communicate. You can create an emergency plan here: NYC.gov/myemergencyplan

Apicha CHCIf you have a disability, access, or functional need, it’s really important to plan ahead in the even of a hurricane. Make sure you know where you’re going to stay, have an emergency contact who will come help you, and have assistance ready for when you evacuate.

2. Know your zone.

As mentioned before, different areas of the city may be subject to surge flooding. If you live in a zone where that is possible, make sure to stay tuned of surge flood warnings and evacuation orders. Knowing your zone could make a huge difference in your safety. You can find out your hurricane evacuation zone here: Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder

3. Stay informed.

Knowing what’s going on is key to your health and safety. Stay abreast of hurricane developments by signing up for Notify NYC to receive emergency notifications and updates via email, phone, SMS /text, or Twitter. Notify NYC messages are also available in American Sign Language (ASL).

4. Create a Go Bag.

Everyone in your household should have their own Go Bag. A Go Bag is a collection of things you want/need if you have to leave in a hurry (like if you need to evacuate quickly). A good Go Bag is either a sturdy backpack or a small suitcase with wheels. This is what you should put in your Go Bag:

· Copies of your important documents in a waterproof and portable container (insurance cards, birth certificates, deeds, photo IDs, proof of address, etc.)

· Extra set of car and house keys

· Copies of credit/ATM cards

· Cash (in small bills)

· Bottled water and nonperishable food, such as energy or granola bars

· Flashlight (Note: Traditional flashlight bulbs have limited lifespans. Light Emitting Diode (LED) flashlights, however, are more durable and last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs.)

· Battery-operated AM/FM radio

· Extra batteries/chargers

· A list of the medications each member of your household takes, why they take them, and their dosages. If you store extra medication in your Go Bag, be sure to refill it before it expires. Get prescription preparedness tips from the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene

· First-aid kit

· Toiletries

· Notepad and pen

· Contact and meeting place information for your household, and a small regional map

· Lightweight raingear and Mylar blanket

5. Buy food, water, and supplies ahead of time.

If a hurricane is expected to affect your neighborhood, go to the grocery story and buy enough food and water for at least seven days. Make sure the food you buy isn’t perishable, as you may loose electricity (which means your refrigerator won’t work). In the event of a hurricane, you could lose access to electricity, gas, water, and telephone service. Buy anything you think you’ll need – flashlights, nails to shut your windows in, boards to protect your windows, etc.

For more information on how to be prepared, check out NYC’s My Emergency Plan

What are some good resources?

Apicha CHCNYC Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter: www.facebook.com/NYCemergencymanagement @nycemergencymgt

Notify NYC: Get free emergency alerts Get notifications that matter most to you. Register by getting the free mobile application, visiting NYC.gov/notifynyc, calling 311, or following @NotifyNYC on Twitter

Advance Warning System: For organizations that serve people with disabilities or others with access and functional needs www.advancewarningsystemnyc.org

NYC Well: NYC Well is your connection to free, confidential mental health support. Speak to a counselor by phone, text message or online chat. 1-888-NYC-WELL, (1-888-692-9355), (TTY: 711) Text “WELL” to 651-73 NYC.gov and search “NYC Well” 

Health Clinic New York | Apicha Community Health Center


Ready to take action about your health?
 request an appointment

Subscribe For Updates

Early Signs of HIV

Early Signs of HIV

Early HIV is the beginning stage of HIV disease, right after HIV infection occurs. If you were not...
Healthy recipes and cooking tips for Latino Thanksgiving

Healthy recipes and cooking tips for Latino Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving and the holidays are fast-approaching, and there never seems to be enough time to get...
What you need to know about PrEP, the HIV Prevention Pill

What you need to know about PrEP, the HIV Prevention Pill

  What You Need to Know About PrEP PrEP or pre-exposure prophylaxis, the HIV prevention pill, has...
Transgender Sexual Health Guide: Safer Sex

Transgender Sexual Health Guide: Safer Sex

When it comes to sex, there’s a serious lack of resources available to transgender people that...
Using Hook-Up Apps in 2017: Emotional Health

Using Hook-Up Apps in 2017: Emotional Health

"Using Hook-up Apps in 2017" is a series addressing issues of safety, racism, and emotional health....
How to Pick the Right Birth Control For You

How to Pick the Right Birth Control For You

For many people, birth control is a daily part of their life. With all the different kinds of birth...
The Best Way to Wash Your Hands

The Best Way to Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands is a no-brainer. It’s such a simple thing, you’d be surprised that so many...
Safe Sex 101: What is Safe Sex?

Safe Sex 101: What is Safe Sex?

There’s no one right way to have sex. Everyone has sex differently, and for different reasons....
Safe Sex 101: Know Your Birth Control Options

Safe Sex 101: Know Your Birth Control Options

Birth control is how you can prevent pregnancy, even if you are sexually active. It's also a great...
Covering Your Bases: What's an STD?

Covering Your Bases: What's an STD?

When it comes to having sex, there is always the risk of getting an STD. However, it's hard to...