OEM develops contingency plans that guide New York City's response to natural and man-made emergencies, from extreme weather to labor disputes. Each plan focuses on three components of a disaster: preparedness, initial response, and recovery. The purpose of these plans is to keep New York City safe and, following a disaster, to return residents to their daily routines as quickly as possible.
When a plan is activated, OEM coordinates the skills of City, state, federal, and nongovernmental agencies, to ensure the plan is effectively carried out. Large-scale citywide emergencies, like a transit strike or a coastal storm, can require the collaboration of dozens of agencies and thousands of emergency responders. Smaller incidents, such as localized power outages or water main breaks, may only require a handful of agencies to complete restoration.
OEM reviews, tests, and revises these plans as intelligence and resources change. The agency enlists subject matter experts from all City agencies, including the Police and Fire Departments, and other non-city groups to advise on aspects of each plan.
The following links highlight the City's guidelines to handle a few possible emergencies: