Press Release



A severe thunderstorm accompanied by heavy rain and strong winds may impact travel and cause localized flooding

National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch until 10 PM

July 1, 2016 — The New York City Emergency Management Department alerts New Yorkers of the potential for severe weather this evening. The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for the New York City area until 10:00 PM. A Tornado Watch indicates that conditions are favorable for a tornado to form. A tornado has not yet developed or been reported.

"The heavy winds and potentially severe thunderstorms expected this evening may create dangerous travel conditions," said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. "New Yorkers should stay inside during periods of severe weather. If you are outside during a thunderstorm, avoid open areas and try to seek shelter indoors."

A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for a tornado to occur in and close to the watch area. Persons within these areas should be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings. A total of 0.25 inch of rain is expected with this event, but locally higher amounts are possible. Localized minor to moderate urban flooding may occur in low-lying and poor drainage areas. Flash flooding cannot be ruled out during the periods of heaviest rain.

New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City's free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can receive phone calls, text messages, and/or emails alerts about traffic and transit disruptions and other emergencies. To sign up for Notify NYC, call 311, visit, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

During a thunderstorm, NYC Emergency Management urges New Yorkers to remain indoors. To stay safe during a storm, New Yorkers should follow the safety tips below.

If you are indoors:

  • Wait 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before venturing back outside.
  • Charge cell phone batteries, gather supplies, and turn refrigerators and freezers to a colder setting.
  • If you are affected by an outage, turn off all appliances and keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to prevent food spoilage.
  • Do not use generators indoors. If you lose power and have a disability or access needs, or use Life Sustaining Equipment (LSE) and need immediate assistance, please dial 9-1-1.

If you are caught outside:

  • Stay away from tall, isolated trees and other tall objects.
  • Avoid open areas like fields or parking lots.
  • Stay away from water and wet items.
  • An automobile can protect you from a lightning strike because the current will flow through the car's metal frame. If you are in a car, do not touch any exposed metal connected to the car.
  • If someone is struck by lightning, call 9-1-1.
  • Do not walk or drive through flooded streets, the actual depth of the water may not be apparent. Turn around, don't drown!
  • Flood water can be contaminated. Avoid contact with sewer water, as it poses a serious health risk.
  • Have heightened awareness of cars, particularly when approaching or crossing intersections.
  • Never touch or go near down power lines, even if you think they are safe.
  • Report any downed power lines and avoid standing in flood water, as it can carry electrical current.

What to Do if a Tornado Strikes

Go to your basement or the lowest point of your residence. If an underground shelter is not available, move to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.

  • Stay away from windows.
  • Get out of automobiles.
  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car; leave it immediately for safe shelter.
  • If you cannot find shelter, take cover in a ditch or other recessed area and cover your head with your hands. Do NOT take cover under an overpass or bridge.
  • Be aware of flying debris.
  • Stay tuned to your local radio and television stations for the latest storm information.

Nancy Silvestri/Omar Bourne (718) 422-4888

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