Getting Prepared

Getting ready for a disaster or emergency can seem like an overwhelming task. But being prepared can make all the difference.

Stay Informed

Notify NYC is the City's official source for information about emergency events and important City services. Registration is free. Enroll online to start receiving text messages or emails now.

Notify NYC provides:

  • Emergency Alerts
  • Significant Event Notifications
  • Public Health Notifications
  • Public School Closing/Delay Advisories
  • Updates on Unscheduled Parking Rules Suspensions
  • Sign Language Video Messages

311 is NYC's main source of government information. You can contact 311 in a variety of ways.

  • Reach 311 by text at 311-692.
  • Call 311, or call (212) NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) from outside New York City.
  • Connect with 311 via Video Relay Service (VRS) at (212) NEW-YORK (212-639-9675).
  • Contact 311 via TTY or Text Telephone at (212) 504-4115.
  • There is also 311 online in over 50 languages. However, you can get help in over 170 languages by calling 311.

NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts, and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The NWR station covering NYC is KWO35 on 162.550 MHz. View the station’s broadcast schedule.

Tune in for:

  • Forecasts of rain and snow, temperatures, clouds, and winds.
  • Warnings for severe thunderstorms, winds, tornadoes, floods, and heavy snow.
  • Special information statements for significant or unusual weather.

You can also find weather updates on the New York City Severe Weather web site.


If you're a NYCHA resident, you can use MyNYCHA to subscribe to alerts for outages in your development and building service notifications, as well as view inspection appointments.

Create a Safety Plan

Create and practice your family’s emergency plan. If your family has practiced, they will be more comfortable carrying out the plan when the emergency actually happens.

Everyone needs to be prepared for the unexpected. Your friends and family may not be together when disaster strikes. Think about the following questions, then write down your answers and share them with your loved ones.

  • How will you find each other?
  • How will you know if your children or parents are safe?
  • You may have to evacuate or be confined to your home. What will you do if water, gas, electricity, or phone services are shut off?

Make an Emergency Contact List

Make an emergency contact list with the home, work, and cell phone numbers and email addresses of your family, friends, neighbors, child care providers, physicians, baby sitters, and any other individuals who are important in your daily lives. Also include any important information such as prescription numbers, pharmacy information, and health insurance policy numbers.

Pack a Go Bag

Have a bag ready to go in advance of any emergency with these essentials for each member of your family:

  • Water: one gallon per person per day (3-day supply)
  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply)
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Hand-crank radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool, like a Swiss Army knife
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items, including toilet paper
  • Copies of important personal documents in a sealed plastic bag (medication list and pertinent medical information, including health history and copies of prescriptions; proof of address; birth certificate; and health and renters’ insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers and extra battery in a sealed plastic bag
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash and coins
  • Emergency blankets (these are available at camping stores)
  • Change of clothes
  • Manual can opener
  • Paper and pencil/pens
  • Whistle
  • Pack of cards

If You Have Pets

Think about where you will go with your pet and how you will get there if you have to leave home during an emergency. Plan to shelter your pet at a kennel or with friends or relatives outside the evacuation area.

  • Develop an emergency plan for your pet. NYC Emergency Management has a guide online, available in several languages. You can also call 311 to request a copy.
  • Make sure your pet always wears a collar.
  • If you are going to a temporary location, add this temporary location to your pet’s collar.
  • Prepare an emergency kit for your pet. Just like with your family's emergency supply kit, think first about the basics for your pet’s survival, particularly food and water. Include any special medical or dietary necessities.

Be Prepared Infographics


Get prepared. Use our infographics:

Additional Resources