Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness

The information and links below are a compilation of recommendations you can use to prepare for and respond to weather emergencies, natural disasters, hazards, and power outages.

Get Prepared

Enroll in Notify NYC, the City of New York’s official source for information about emergency events, to receive notifications that can help you be prepared for any emergency in your area. You can also enroll in Notify NYC by calling 311 or downloading the Notifying NYC app on your iOS or Android device.

For a general overview on how to prepare for an emergency in New York City, see New York City Emergency Management’s website. Take time to review your emergency plans with friends and family and review the NYC Apartment Building Individual Emergency Preparedness/Evacuation Planning Checklist. Every family should have a “Go” bag and emergency supply kit prepared. New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has provided building owners with emergency preparedness guidance for tenants with disabilities, access, and functional needs.

NYC has six hurricane evacuation zones. During a hurricane or tropical storm, residents in these zones may be ordered to evacuate due to the risk of storm surge flooding. NYC residents can use the Evacuation Zone finder to find out if they live in one of these zones and (if so) the zone number. During future storms, any evacuation orders will be issued by zone number. If an evacuation order is issued for your zone, please evacuate. Learn more about the difference between tropical storms and hurricanes or watches and warnings

Check common areas in your building for emergency information. Building owners are required to post temporary notices with emergency information:

  • Prior to the arrival of a weather emergency
  • After a natural disaster
  • After being informed that a utility outage will last for more than 24 hours

Helpful Tips 

New York City law requires proper smoke detector installation and maintenance; tenants can call 311 to file a complaint if their landlord has not provided smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as required. New York City residents can also get a free smoke alarm by calling 311 or the American Red Cross at 877-733-2767.  

Never use a stove or oven to heat your home. Stoves can emit harmful carbon monoxide and are not designed for home heating. 

When heating your home, always keep flammable items at least 3 feet away from heat sources, never use a stove to heat your home, and don't leave space heaters unattended. 

Make sure your apartment entrance door and any public area doors are self-closing. This can prevent the spread of a fire, saving not only your family but other families in your building as well. Call 311 to file a complaint with HPD if your door is not self-closing. 

Owners of multiple dwellings are required to provide stove knob covers for gas-powered stoves where the owner knows that child under six years of age resides or in a unit without a child under age six if the tenant requests them. The owner is also required to provide tenants with an annual notice. Call 311 to file complaints related to stove knob covers. 

During periods of excessive heat, consider going to a Cooling Center, or choose places you could go for relief from the heat (e.g. school, libraries, theaters, malls).   

Check on your neighbors, friends, and relatives -- especially the elderly and those with disabilities and access to functional needs 

Additional Information 

For more information about preparing for an emergency, call 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115), visit 311 online, or access 311 mobile.

New York City tenants can call 311, visit 311 online, or access 311 mobile if there is no or inadequate heat or hot water in their apartment or building.