Disaster Preparedness

Emergencies happen every day in NYC. Chances are you or someone you know will be affected by a disaster in some way. Maybe you’ve already been affected by a disaster and wonder what you might have done differently. Here are simple steps you can take to prepare yourself to better face an emergency. Click on the images below to learn more about gathering supplies, making a plan, sheltering in place, and more. For more detailed information, please visit www.redcross.org, www.nyc.gov/oem, or www.ready.gov.

LESReady! Disaster Resources:




Make a Plan. Make and practice evacuation plans and choose meeting places to regroup if you are separated. Discuss the possible emergencies and how you would cope with them. Write your plan down, along with all important contact information and meeting place addresses. Make copies for each member of your family. Think about places where you could stay if asked to evacuate for some time.

Stay Informed. Maintain access to official announcements to help you make the best decisions for you and your family. Purchase a battery or crank-operated radio in case of a power outage. Click the image above to sign up for Notify NYC and receive alerts via SMS/text, email, and phone. Designate an out-of-state contact who can relay messages between you and other family members in the disaster area in case local phone lines are jammed.


Special Tips for High Rise Building Dwellers:

  • If Emergency officials call for an evacuation, DO IT! Do not wait to become trapped on high floors with no power to the elevators.
  • If you live in a high rise apartment building, fill your bathtub (or large pots, etc.) with water to use for flushing and other hygiene purposes. Keep hand sanitizer available.
  • A headlamp type flashlight that leaves your hands free can be a tremendous asset in negotiating a dark stairwell, allowing you to carry items or assist another person.