Preparing for Hurricane Irene

As you may have heard by now, there is a strong possibility that New York City could feel the effects of Hurricane Irene, which is forecasted to move up the East Coast of the U.S. as we head into the weekend.  While the extent to which the hurricane will affect the city is still unclear, we are likely to experience a severe storm and possibly up to a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday. 

As we head into the weekend, it is important for all of us to be well prepared and informed for a worst-case scenario, including possible evacuation of some coastal areas.  Parts of El Barrio/East Harlem and Mott Haven are considered low-lying areas.  Residents of these neighborhoods should only expect to evacuate in the event of a stronger hurricane (Category 2 or 3), which is not currently in the forecast.  However, sometimes weather conditions can be unpredictable.  To download a map of evacuation zones and centers in your area, please click here.  You can also find out if you live in an evacuation zone by clicking here.

The City’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is encouraging all New Yorkers to do the following, particularly those who live in low-lying areas:

  • Stay up-to-date on weather conditions and other important information at all times by watching the news and checking OEM’s website (
  • Stock up on supplies such as water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries and a first aid kit.
  • Prepare an emergency supply kit and a “Go Bag.”  For more information on what to include, click here.

We also encourage you to check on friends, relatives, and neighbors, especially those with disabilities or special needs, and assist them with their preparation and, if necessary, their evacuation.

If you need additional information, please visit the OEM website or call 311.

We wish you all a safe weekend!

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