FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ENCOURAGES NEW YORKERS TO SIGN UP FOR NOTIFY NYC - THE NEW PROGRAM THAT STRENGTHENS PUBLIC COMMUNICATION AND REDUCES NEEDLESS ANXIETY - IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, May 31, 2009
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"Have you ever wished that you could find out about unexpected events affecting your community as soon as they happen? Things like natural disasters, fires, unplanned school closings, or last-minute changes to parking rules? Information that's clear, quick, and accurate instead of the sometimes misleading or incomplete accounts that swirl around an emergency? Well, now you can.
"Last Thursday, we rolled out a new, citywide alert system called Notify NYC. It's going to revolutionize the way City government communicates important information to the public by using the technology that people already have at their fingertips: cell phones, Blackberries, and PDAs. Notify NYC allows us to send real-time, neighborhood-specific alerts to those devices by e-mail, text message, and automated telephone calls.
"Here's how it works: New Yorkers who want to receive alerts should log on to the City's website, www.nyc.gov, and enter their contact information - which will be kept confidential and used only for Notify NYC purposes. Each Notify NYC subscriber will automatically receive alerts about major emergencies and natural disasters - as well as time-sensitive information that depends on an immediate response, like 'Amber Alerts' for missing children. Subscribers also have the option of signing up for notifications of less-severe events, such as public safety exercises by our Police and Fire Departments or disruptions to water, electricity, and telecommunications services.
"What's more: Subscribers can sign up to receive alerts for up to five different zip codes. That means you might register for information for the neighborhoods where you live and where you work and also, for example, the areas where your kids go to school.
"Some New Yorkers are already familiar with Notify NYC because in 2007, we launched a limited trial of the system in four neighborhoods. Since that time, we have sent out more than 70 advisories to more than 12,000 subscribers about a range of incidents and emergencies.
"Now, as we roll out the system citywide, we're also creating a new unit within the City's Office of Emergency Management dedicated to emergency communications with the public. The unit will be staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - and it will be responsible for sending Notify NYC messages and making sure that Notify NYC information is also posted on the City's website and distributed to 311 and 911 operators to ensure that the information the City gives out is accurate and consistent.
"Having taken office just 3½ months after 9/11, our Administration has always been aware of how important it is to get clear, accurate, and timely information out to the public. That's especially true in an emergency situation. Many of the nation's largest cities are in the process of developing emergency alert systems. But Notify NYC is by far the most comprehensive and technologically advanced - and it surpasses all others in its depth of planning. I encourage all New Yorkers to visit www.nyc.gov and sign up for Notify NYC. It will give you information when you need it - and peace of mind when it's most important.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958