Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities311Search all websites

Emergency Preparedness

How to Prepare

Make a Plan

If you or someone you know has a disability, you may have more to think about as you plan for emergencies. New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM) in coordination with the NYC Department for the Aging and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities has developed this helpful guide(s):

Ready New York: My Emergency Plan is a workbook designed to assist New Yorkers with disabilities to create an emergency plan.

Other Emergency Management Preparedness Materials

  • Make a Go Bag (a collection of items you may need in the event of an evacuation) - Gather Supplies for your unique needs and consider adding the following supplies:
  • Emergency health information card which include medication needs, doctor contact information
  • Manuals and extra batteries for any devices you use
  • Notepad and pen to communicate
  • Aerosol tire repair kits and/or tire inflator to repair flat wheelchair or scooter tires
  • Magnifying glasses
  • Extra mobility canes
  • Supplies for your pets or service animal (e.g., extra water, bowl, leash, plastic bags, toys and treats, etc.)
  • Back-up medical equipment such as glasses, batteries, or phone charger
  • Items to comfort you in a stressful situation

For more information contact 311 or (212)-639-9675 or dial 711 Video Relay.


Normal ways of communicating during an emergency may become disrupted. Therefore, developing a support network is important. This support network could consist of local and out-of area contacts, including family and friends, co-workers and others who support you. Make sure to go over your plan with your contacts. Record the ways you prefer to communicate with others that way, first responders can contact your support network in the event you are unable to communicate. Here are some helpful tips.

  • If you have a vision disability, be prepared to explain to others how to best guide you.
  • If you have a cognitive or emotional disability, be prepared for changes in in your environment.
  • If you have a hearing disability, practice communicating your needs through gestures, note cards, text messages, or other means.
  • You can request police, fire, and medical assistance from public pay phones and/or emergency call boxes. Information on requesting help for Individuals who are Deaf/HoH
  • You can request police, fire, and medical assistance from public pay phones and/or emergency call boxes. More information here:

For more information on communicating during an emergency visit NYCEM Disability Access and Functional Needs Page

Emergency Sheltering and Evacuation:

For transportation considerations visit, before an emergency or contact 311 or call (212)-639-9675 to locate accessible transportation options. These options can include subways, buses, Access-A-Ride, and accessible taxis. New York City Accessible Public Transportation Options

During an evacuation order a person with a disability can contact 311 or call (212)-639-9675 and depending on need and will be taken to either an accessible evacuation center in an accessible vehicle or a hospital outside the evacuation zone.

The Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder provides information on evacuation zones and evacuation centers. A person can also contact 311 or call (212-639-9675 for information.

Additional Information on Emergency Sheltering

Power Disruptions

People who utilize life-sustaining equipment (LSE) should contact their utility providers in order to register for a priority power restoration program:

Con Edison (serving all of NYC except the Rockaways)
Phone: 1-800-752-6633
TTY: 1-800-642-2308.
Con Edison's Special Services Website

PSEG-LI (serving the Rockaways)
Phone: 1-800-490-0025
TTY: 1-631-755-6660
PSEG's Critical Care Program

  • 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. Learn more from the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene

Additional Information on Power Disruptions on the NYCEM Website