When a Hurricane Watch is Announced
A hurricane may affect New York City within 36 hours of a hurricane watch announcement. In the event of a hurricane watch, the City will activate its Emergency Operations Center on a 24-hour basis.
Residents should stay tuned to local media for instructions. Stations may engage the Emergency Alert System and suspend regularly scheduled programming. Immediately before, during or after a hurricane, residents can also call 311 for information.
Before a hurricane, residents should find out whether they live in one of New York City's hurricane evacuation zones. Those in an evacuation zone will have to follow special procedures if a hurricane seems likely to make landfall near the City. Evacuees will need to relocate farther inland with friends or family or seek a public evacuation shelter outside the storm surge area. During a hurricane watch, residents should think carefully about where they would go if evacuation instructions were issued.
Learn more about hurricane evacuation
Protecting Yourself and Your Property
Prepare for Water and Sewer Disruptions
- Prepare to be self-sufficient for at least three days without help or emergency services. Prepare a Go Bag and an Emergency Supply Kit. Assume that many of the streets and stores in your neighborhood will be closed. A watch may be followed bydisruptions to electricity, gas, water or telephone service.
- Check on friends, relatives and neighbors, especially those with disabilities or special needs and assist them with their preparation, if possible. Contact family members outside your household to coordinate and inform each other about preparations. Avoid separating your immediate family. Consider developing a disaster plan.
- Bring inside loose, lightweight objects, such as lawn furniture, garbage cans, garden tools and toys. Anchor objects that will be unsafe to bring inside, like gas grills or propane tanks. Turn off propane tanks.
- If you own a vehicle, fill your gas tank. If you own a boat, moor or move it to a safe place well before the storm causes maritime conditions to deteriorate. If you own a mobile home/trailer, tie it down securely.
- Shutter windows securely and brace outside doors.
- Place valuables into waterproof containers or plastic bags.
- Take out extra cash.
Prepare for Power Disruptions
- To keep perishable food cold, freeze water in plastic jugs and use in freezer or coolers. Fill up other emergency water containers.
- Clean jugs, bottles and other containers. Scrub bathtubs thoroughly, sponge and swab with regular, unscented liquid chlorine bleach, then rinse. Let the tub and other containers dry. Fill with water.
- If you have a pool, do not drain it completely. Instead, drop the level by one or two feet. Submerge outdoor furniture and pool equipment in the pool. Turn off electricity to pool pump. Add extra chlorine to compensate for heavy rains.
- Keep five-gallon buckets with tight-fitting lids for use as emergency toilets. Line each bucket with a heavy-duty plastic trash bag
Learn more about food supply preparation for an emergency