Coastal Storm Preparedness for Durable Medical Equipment Users, Dialysis Patients and Individuals with Limited Mobility

If you or anyone in your home depends on electrically-powered life-sustaining medical equipment (such as a ventilator or cardiac device), receives dialysis or has limited mobility, there are specific steps you should take to prepare for a coastal storm.

  1. Prepare to Go to a Safe Location+

    Hurricane evacuation zones are areas of the City that may be affected by storm surge flooding. There are six zones in the city, with Zone 1 being the most likely to flood. In the event of a hurricane or coastal storm, residents in these zones may be ordered to evacuate.

    To find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, use the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder, or call 311. If a mandatory evacuation is ordered for your zone, you must leave your home and go to a safe location. You should stay with friends or family who live outside the affected area, or go to a City evacuation center.


  2. Consider Going to an Evacuation Center+

    If you are directed to evacuate and cannot stay with friends or family who live outside the evacuation zones, you should go to an evacuation center. There will be evacuation centers open in each of the five boroughs. These centers will have accessible facilities and accommodations for people with disabilities and access and functional needs. If you are going to an evacuation center, pack lightly. You should bring:

    • Clothing
    • Bedding
    • Bathing and sanitary supplies
    • Medications
    • A Go Bag (see below)

    To find the nearest evacuation center, use the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder, or call 311.


  3. Call for Help If You Need It+

    If you are having a life-threatening emergency, call 911 immediately.

    If you have a non-life threatening issue, or if you need help getting to an evacuation center, call 311. 311 can also answer any questions you may have about evacuating, such as whether pets are allowed at your nearby evacuation center.


  4. Prepare Your Medical Equipment+

    Make sure:

    • Batteries are working.
    • Backup batteries are fully charged.
    • Generators and converters are working.


  5. Refill Medication+

    You should have enough medication to last for at least seven days. For advice about how to avoid running out of your medication during a coastal storm, read our Tips for Prescription Preparedness (PDF).


  6. Prepare Your Go Bag+

    A Go Bag contains items you may need if you have to leave your home in a hurry. People who require medical equipment should pack:

    • Your ID and insurance cards, as well as paper copies of the front and back of the card
    • A list of phone numbers for your doctors, home care agency, friends and family members
    • A list of your allergies
    • A list of the medications you take, why you take them and the proper dosages. For help making this list, check out our Personal Health Summary tool.
    • A paper copy of medical equipment settings.
    • Enough medication to last for up to seven days
    • Extra batteries and chargers for medical equipment
    • Enough medical equipment materials to last for seven days

    For a complete list of items you should include in your Go Bag, visit the City’s Emergency Management website.


  7. Get Connected, Stay Informed+

    You can receive alerts about emergency events and City services by registering for Notify NYC.

    You can also register with Con Edison to receive outage alerts or free and special support for certain people using medical equipment at home.

    Stay tuned to the local news. To get City updates about a storm, go to, or call 311.


Individuals with Limited Mobility

If you live at home and cannot get out of bed on your own, you should:

  • Contact your caregiver so they can help you prepare to evacuate.
  • Ask your caregiver if they have a personalized checklist of items you need to bring with you.
  • Call 311 for transportation help if your caregiver is not available.

If necessary, your caregiver can go with you to an evacuation center.

People Receiving Dialysis Treatment

In addition to the above preparations, if you receive dialysis treatment, you should also:

  • Consider starting an emergency renal diet.
    • Speak with your health care provider about which foods you should eat while on an emergency renal diet.
  • Contact your dialysis center
    • Contact your dialysis center for instructions immediately after hearing a storm is approaching. You may need to schedule a session at another dialysis center that is in a safe location. Your dialysis center can also tell you how you can get a copy of your prescriptions.
    • If you need transportation to a dialysis center, use a personal vehicle, taxi, subway, bus, or Access-A-Ride. A 911 ambulance will not transport you to a dialysis center.
  • Make sure your Go Bag includes phone numbers of your dialysis center.

For more information about how to prepare for emergencies, you can read our Guide to Emergency Preparedness for Dialysis Patients (PDF) or watch a video on how to prepare.

Additional Resources