FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES THAT REGISTRATION FOR NEWLY EXPANDED NOTIFY NYC PROGRAM IS OPEN AT NYC.GOV
Emergency Information and Advisories about Important City Services Now Available by Email, Text and Phone in All Five Boroughs
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, and Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno today announced that registration for Notify NYC, the City's public notification program, has opened citywide. The Mayor, Speaker and Commissioner encouraged New Yorkers to sign up for alerts sent via email, text message and voice message to their homes, offices and cellular telephones. New Yorkers who participated in the pilot program will receive a message reminding them to enroll in the expanded Notify NYC. Anyone interested in signing up for notifications can do so by logging on to www.nyc.gov.
"Registration for neighborhood-specific Notify NYC emergency alerts on cell phones, email, or home landlines is now open in all five boroughs," said Mayor Bloomberg. "You can be just about anywhere and receive instantaneous information about events of concern in your community, or any other area of the City."
"Notify NYC will get vital information where it will do the most good - in the hands of New Yorkers," said Speaker Quinn. "Whether you live in Rockaway or Riverdale, go to nyc.gov and sign up today. In the event of an emergency, this information could make all the difference in the world."
Alerts sent through Notify NYC will also be posted at www.nyc.gov and distributed to call takers at 311 and 911 to ensure that information the City provides is accurate, timely and consistent. Participants in Notify NYC receive emergency alerts, which provide critical information about the most severe emergency events, such as AMBER Alerts and natural disasters. Subscribers also have the option of registering for Significant Event Notifications, which provide informational advisories about less-severe emergency events which may still cause disruptions on a localized basis. Examples of less-severe events are brush fires, extended disruptions of mass transit services and major utility outages affecting water, power and telecommunications. The City will work with utility providers when major outages occur, and provide the public with updates about how and when services will be restored.
The citywide program also offers non-emergency advisories about unscheduled suspensions of alternate side parking rules and public school closures and delays. Based on feedback from subscribers in the pilot, Notify NYC will expand to offer users additional non-emergency information services from a variety of City agencies. Notify NYC messages are crafted by a team of Public Notification Specialists in OEM's 24-hour Watch Command. The Public Notification Specialists coordinate with Operations Centers and field Incident Commanders from the City's first response agencies to ensure the accuracy of messages.
Notify NYC is the product of a multi-year initiative to enhance the City's emergency public communication systems. Under the direction of Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler, the City has upgraded to the Emergency Alert System (EAS), developed by the City's Emergency Television and Radio (ETVR) briefing sites and implemented the Emergency Public Information Plan (EPIP), which is managed by OEM to improve the coordination of public information during major emergencies. Building on the success of 3-1-1 and nyc.gov, Notify NYC will integrate information and technology services for multiple City agencies, and provide the public with a one-stop destination for emergency and non-emergency notifications.
"New Yorkers have asked for this capability, and government is pleased to provide it," said Deputy Mayor Skyler. "This important program improves public communication and reduces needless anxiety. To get here, we have performed years of testing and research and development, and have worked with many our partners in the public and private sector to develop a program that responds to the unique challenges New York City presents."
"We are extremely pleased with the success Notify NYC so far," said OEM Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno. "We are confident that this citywide program will continue to provide residents with critical information during emergency situations, while also effectively communicating non-emergency notifications from a variety of other City agencies"
Notify NYC is a voluntary program. Phone numbers, email addresses and other personal information collected during the registration process will never be used for purposes other than sending Notify NYC messages and will remain confidential. For more information about Notify NYC or to register, visit www.nyc.gov. People who do not have regular access to email or text messaging may also register exclusively for voice alerts to their home, office or cell phones by calling 3-1-1 and using the automated phone registration system.
Notify NYC is the result of a collaborative effort by the Mayor's Office, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Department of Information, Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT) and the City's public safety and health agencies including Police (NYPD), Fire (FDNY), Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Environmental Protection (DEP), Sanitation (DSNY), Transportation (DOT) and Buildings (DOB).
Stu Loeser/Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Chris Gilbride (Office of Emergency Management)