FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 1, 2013
OEM MAILS 1.4 MILLION HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS GUIDES TO HOUSEHOLDS, BUSINESSES IN NEW EVACUATION ZONES
Extensive outreach to elected officials and community-based organizations continues
Hurricane guide available by calling 311 or by going to www.nyc.gov/oem
July 1, 2013 — Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno today announced that 1.4 million New York City households and businesses in new hurricane evacuation zones 1 through 6 will receive a copy of the new Ready New York: Hurricanes and New York City guide. The guide, delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, will arrive in mailboxes this week. The new brochure provides a citywide map of coastal evacuation zones and evacuation centers, as well as practical advice on how New Yorkers can prepare for coastal storms. The City’s updated hurricane preparedness guide will eventually be available in 11 languages, English versions are currently available at www.nyc.gov/oem or by calling 311.
"As part of our extensive education outreach informing residents of the new hurricane evacuation zones we are sending households in Zones 1 through 6 a copy of the updated hurricane guide," said Commissioner Bruno. "The guide comes with a new guide map outlining zone borders and critical hurricane preparedness tips. If you do not get a guide, you can easily order a free one by calling 311 or download it from our website at www.nyc.gov/oem."
In addition to informing residents directly, OEM is working with local elected officials, community boards, and community groups to publicize the new evacuation zones. OEM continues to perform extensive outreach to community-based organizations throughout the City to educate the public of the risk that hurricanes present, as well as to inform them of the proper way to prepare for emergencies
Nationally, hurricane season lasts five months from June 1 through November 30, but because of colder ocean temperatures New York’s hurricane season is shorter and is generally considered to start on August 1. If a major hurricane made landfall in or near New York City, flooding and other storm-related damage could be extensive. Each of the five boroughs has coastlines that are vulnerable to storm surge created by a hurricane.
On June 18, the City announced that new evacuation zones 1 through 6 would replace zones A, B, and C. The new zone system – first announced in the City’s Hurricane Sandy After-Action report last month – was developed using the latest Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricane storm surge inundation maps generated by the National Weather Service and processed by United States Army Corps of Engineers. The zones are based on coastal flood risk resulting from storm surge – the "dome" of ocean water propelled by the winds and low barometric pressure of a hurricane; the geography of the city’s low-lying neighborhoods; and the accessibility of these neighborhoods by bridge and roads. The new hurricane evacuation zones incorporate a recently updated model from the National Weather Service, and the new model accounts for larger and slower moving storms. Additionally, the resolution of the model has been increased, incorporating improved elevation data, and the new evacuation zones also assume that the storm surge will coincide with high tide.
To request a preparedness presentation, which includes a discussion on the new hurricane evacuation zones, please call 311 or visit OEM’s website at www.nyc.gov/oem.
Christopher Miller/Nancy Greco (OEM) (718) 422-4888
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