Plan for Intense Storms

NYC Stormwater Floodmap screenshot

We know that climate change will cause intense rain events to occur with more frequency and severity. Click below to see the actions that we all must take to protect ourselves and our families.

The City will:

Inform residents and owners about flood risk and provide resources to help them protect their property:

  • The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has developed a new, interactive map to help property owners understand the level of risk they may face today during an intense storm and which areas in their neighborhoods that may experience flooded roadways.
  • DEP will conduct direct outreach to property owners that could experience nuisance or substantial flooding as well as provide flood barriers that can be deployed to protect their properties. In addition, DEP will offer hands-on workshops to help homeowners understand simple, cost-effective steps that they can take to protect their properties from stormwater flooding in Summer 2022.
  • The City will promote and expand FloodHelpNY, a website run in partnership with the Center for New York City Neighborhoods, that provides information and resources about flood risk, flood insurance and flood retrofits. FloodHelpNY will be expanded to include additional stormwater resources, incorporate a stormwater risk address look up, and improve accessibility by expanding language access. Through a collaboration with local community-based organizations, FloodHelpNY will also conduct outreach to city residents in multiple languages, focusing on the importance of flood insurance and sewer-back up coverage for homeowners, renters, and business owners to ensure financial assistance after a flood.
  • The City will launch an annual flood insurance awareness campaign in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The campaign will run across all five boroughs during hurricane season and will include radio, TV, subway, and other digital ads.

Complete short-term infrastructure projects that will mitigate flooding and/or improve awareness of flooding conditions:

  • The Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) will install warning signs at 75 chronically flooded locations by August 2022 to ensure that motorists are aware of potential dangers and know to avoid those areas during predicted intense rainfall.
  • The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and DEP will complete three high level storm sewer projects, six traditional sewer projects, and install 1,300 more green infrastructure assets by June 2023. These projects will complement the existing sewer system and help manage stormwater in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.

But we all have a role to play:

If you rent, own, or live in a 1–4 family home, you should:

  • Use our interactive Stormwater Flood Map to understand your flood risk during intense storms.
  • If you own or rent an at-risk location, get flood insurance and identify how to protect your property against flooding.
  • Most homeowner and renters insurance policies do not include coverage for flood damage or sewer backups. Check your current policy to see if you are covered for flood damage or water/sewer backups—if not, consider getting or adding the optional rider to your policy.
  • Take photos of important belongings to help expedite insurance claims after a flood. Place belongings stored in basements above the ground and in water-tight containers.
  • Have an emergency preparedness plan for your household. Learn more at Ready New York.
  • Sign up for Notify NYC.

If you rent, own, manage, or live in a large property with several units, you should:

  • Use our interactive Stormwater Flood Map to understand your flood risk during intense storms.
  • If you own or manage a property on a street at risk for stormwater flooding, check that you have a flood-specific insurance policy, which is typically purchased separately from traditional property insurance.
  • Identify if any residents are living in a basement or cellar. If so, develop alerts, communication and evacuation plans for potential flood situations.
  • Develop communication protocols to notify all residents of flood conditions and advise them on procedures for minimize damages (such as removing items from below-ground levels).
  • Visually survey the property for locations where flood waters might enter the building, including foundation wall cracks, gaps, and below grade openings (such as exterior stairs or sloped driveways), and basement or cellar floor drains. Make repairs to any identified issues.
  • Evaluate ways to reduce flood risk by installing a backwater valve in consultation with a plumber; sealing cracks, utility entry points, or poorly fitted doors and windows where water could enter; retrofitting below grade mechanical rooms; and installing curbs or bulkheads to redirect rainwater away from below grade stairs and driveways.
  • Sign up for Notify NYC.