New York City Disaster Preparedness
In June 2013, New York City released its new Flood Evacuation Zones and an interactive map to locate one’s address in relation to the Evacuation Zones (http://maps.nyc.gov/hurricane/). These new Flood Evacuation Zones are based on a storm surge of thirty feet; the storm surge from Sandy was eleven feet. The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) included the following information in a July 3 email to the NYC Citizen Corps Council:
…All residents and businesses in the six new evacuation zones should have received (or will be receiving) the 2013 Ready New York: Hurricanes and New York City guide in the mail. The guide is also available to the public online (http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/ready/hurricane_guide.shtml) and by calling 311.
Please see below some of the main points related to the new evacuation zones:
1. The zones are increasing from three to six zones; changing from A,B, and C, to 1,2,3,4,5,6. These zones are ranked by risk of storm surge impact, with Zone 1 being the most likely to flood, through Zone 6, the least likely.
2. People can find out which zone they live in, and the location of their nearest evacuation center, by visiting the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder, or by calling 311.
3. An additional 600,000 New Yorkers are now included in the zones, bringing the total number of residents that would have to evacuate in a worst-case scenario to about 3 million.
We are also encouraging people to sign up for Notify NYC (https://a858-nycnotify.nyc.gov/notifynyc/) to receive important public safety announcements.
Evacuation Plan Components
Where this information affects parishes of the Diocese is that every congregation in a Flood Evacuation Zone needs to have an Evacuation Plan that addresses the following areas:
- Parishioners’ safety and/or evacuation, especially shut-ins, those in nursing homes or hospitals, the elderly, those with young children and special needs;
- Church records, particularly the registers and documents of historical impact, financial records, and backups of all computers; remember to keep a record of all your insurance policies and their numbers offsite.
- Church furnishings, such as silver, vestments, missals, bibles, linens, crosses, icons, etc).
The diocesan archivist, (212 316-7419, email) will be very glad to store your archival parish registers and anything else, such as letters, original deeds, etc. you would like to preserve.
The links below are to the flood evacuation zone map; the OEM’s information on coastal storms; and the OEM brochure on Hurricane Preparedness.