Consider developing a disaster plan with your household members to prepare for what to do, how to find each other, and how to communicate in an emergency.
Decide where your household will reunite after a disaster. Identify two places to meet: one right outside your home and another outside your neighborhood, such as a library, community center, or place of worship.
Identify all possible exit routes from your home and neighborhood.
Designate an out-of-state friend or relative that household members can call if separated during a disaster. If New York City phone circuits are busy, long-distance calls may be easier to make. This out-of-state contact can help you and your family communicate. Keep in mind that cell phones may not function during and immediately following a disaster due to high volume of activity; however, text messages can often get through, even if you can't make calls on your cell phone. What's more, if cell phones aren’t functional, using a landline or a payphone (to call your out-of-state contact) is a good alternative.
Account for everybody's needs, especially seniors, people with disabilities, and non-English speakers.
Ensure that household members have a copy of your household disaster plan and emergency contact information to keep in their wallets and backpacks.
Practice your plan with all household members.
When developing your family's disaster plan, you should assemble and make copies of vital contact information for each family member. Use Ready New York's Emergency Reference Card (PDF, 38 KB) to capture this information.
Contacting the City in the Event of 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 (TTY 212-504-4115):
When you need access to non-emergency services or information about City government programs.
Do NOT call 311 for emergencies.
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.