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Mayor de Blasio Urges New Yorkers to Prepare for Effects of Hermine – High Winds, Coastal Flooding, Strong Rip Currents and Rain
September 3, 2016
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill De Blasio today urged New Yorkers to prepare for potential impacts of Hermine, now considered a Post-Tropical Cyclone. While it is considered “Post-Tropical,” Hermine remains a powerful storm with significant hazards. The National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the New York City area in effect from 11AM today. A tropical storm warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds, which include sustained wind speeds of 39mph to 74mph. A Storm Surge Watch has also been issued for New York City coastal areas until further notice. Hermine is forecast to track off the DELMARVA coast this weekend and gradually intensify Sunday into Monday as it slowly tracks up to the northeast. The National Weather Service is currently forecasting sustained winds of 35-45 mph with potential for gusts up to 60 mph for the NYC area beginning as early as Sunday and extending possibly through Tuesday evening.
“This storm is expected to bring very strong winds to NYC over the next few days,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Tropical-storm-force winds can lead to power outages and create dangerous conditions, so make sure you secure loose objects like garbage cans and patio umbrellas and take precautions this weekend.”
Beginning Sunday evening and through Tuesday morning, passengers should anticipate weather-related delays and/or cancellations
When winds reach tropical storm levels, NYC area bridges may implement speed and vehicle restrictions. New Yorkers should expect potential restrictions Sunday evening through Tuesday.
Due to life-threatening rip tides, NYC beaches are closed to swimming, surfing, and bathing on Sunday, September 4, 2016.
New Yorkers should take actions ahead of the storm to prepare for high winds, minor-to-moderate coastal flooding, rain, life-threatening rip tides, and high surf.
PREPARE FOR HIGH WINDS
High winds can bring down trees and power lines and can turn unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles. To protect against the hazard of high winds, New Yorkers should:
Check the area immediately surrounding your home for unsecured objects or potentially dangerous conditions. Tree limbs, garbage cans, yard debris, or other materials that can be moved by the wind are potential projectiles aimed at your home or parked vehicle.
Bring inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools and toys.
Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills or propane tanks.
Close up and secure patio umbrellas.
Secure retractable awnings.
Remove aerial antennas and satellite television dishes.
Use caution when walking or driving high profile vehicles during periods of high winds .
Stand clear of roadways or train tracks, as a gust may blow you toward an oncoming vehicle.
Use handrails where available.
Avoid elevated areas such as roofs, as wind speeds may be higher above ground level.
If you are driving during periods of high winds:
Keep both hands on the wheel and slow down.
Watch for objects blowing across the roadway and into your path.
Keep a safe distance from cars in adjacent lanes, as strong gusts could push a car outside its lane of travel.
Take extra care in a high-profile vehicle such as trucks, vans and SUVs, as these vehicles are more prone to being pushed or flipped by high wind gusts.
New Yorkers are encouraged to call 911 to report emergencies at construction sites or buildings. New Yorkers who suspect a building or property has been structurally compromised should call 911.
Additional wind guidance from the NYC Buildings Department:
All cranes were ordered to cease operations in the City by 3pm on Saturday, September 3. Cranes should be safely stored as required by manufacturer guidelines.
All builders, contractors, crane operators, and property owners should secure their construction sites, buildings, and equipment.
The Department of Buildings will be performing random spot-check inspections of construction sites around the City. If sites are not secured, the Department will take immediate enforcement action — issuing violations and Stop Work Orders, where necessary.
Property owners must consider the safety of their buildings and construction sites, including cranes, suspended and supported scaffolding, hoists and any other building appurtenances that may come loose from exposure to high winds. Structures that have been subject to deferred maintenance or are in delicate condition could be at greater risk. The Department suggests consulting a professional to advise how to secure construction sites and buildings.
Buildings Bulletin2010-019 outlines the requirements for vertical netting, debris netting and material-fall protection devices at buildings and construction sites.
PREPARE FOR FLOODING
If you live in a flood-susceptible area:
Keep sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber, on hand to help protect your home.
Make an itemized list of personal property, including furnishings, clothing, and valuables.
Move valuable items from basements to upper floors. (Basements are vulnerable to flooding.)
Know your flood risk. To learn more about coastal flood risk in New York City, visit the FEMA Region II Coastal Analysis and Mapping website for flood hazard information at http://www.region2coastal.com/.
Consider getting flood insurance. Protection against loss due to floods is not covered under a homeowner’s policy. Contact your property/casualty agent or broker about eligibility for flood insurance. For more information, visit the National Flood Insurance Program online at www.floodsmart.gov.
PREPARE FOR POWER OUTAGES
Build or restock your emergency supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
Charge cell phones and any battery-powered devices.
Turn your refrigerator and freezer to a colder setting. If you lose power, items that need refrigeration will stay cooler for longer.
Check on friends, relatives, and neighbors, especially older adults and people with disabilities, access and functional needs, or health conditions. Help them to prepare if needed.
PREPARE AN EMERGENCY PLAN:
Develop a plan with your household members that outlines what to do during an emergency, including a coastal storm. Use Ready New York: My Emergency Plan at NYC.gov/myemergencyplan.
If you have a disability, access or functional need, make sure your plan addresses how your needs may affect your ability to evacuate, shelter in place, or communicate with emergency workers. Arrange help from family, friends, or service providers if you will need assistance.
Know your zone. Areas of the city subject to storm surge flooding are divided into six evacuation zones (1 through 6) based on risk of storm surge flooding. Use the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder or call 311(212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY:212-504-4115) to find out if your address is located in an evacuation zone.
Prepare a Go Bag that you can grab in case you need to leave your home in a hurry. For more information about what to pack in a Go Bag, visit http://www1.nyc.gov/site/em/ready/gather-supplies.page.
Stay informed by signing up for Notify NYC to receive emergency notifications and updates via email, phone, SMS /text, or Twitter. Notify NYC messages are also available in American Sign Language (ASL). Visit NYC.gov/NotifyNYC or call 311 to sign up.
CITY ACTIONS TO PREPARE FOR THE STORM
NYC Emergency Management remains in constant communication with the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service to track and monitor the storm.
A National Weather Service meteorologist is embedded in NYC Emergency Management’s Watch Command to provide real-time updates on the storm’s track and potential impacts.
The City’s Situation Room has been activated, and NYC Emergency Management is coordinating daily interagency conference calls to facilitate preparations with city and state agencies and private partners.
The City’s Flash Flood Emergency Plan has been activated to help mitigate potential flash flooding and ensure a quick, effective, and coordinated response to any flash flood events that do occur. NYC Emergency Management works closely with NYPD, FDNY, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Sanitation, Department of Transportation, Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to mitigate the impact of flash floods. New Yorkers are encouraged to report clogged catch basins and areas of standing water to 3-1-1.
Additionally, the City’s Downed Tree Task Force has been placed on stand-by. This multi-agency task force is responsible for coordinating the response to a large downed tree event.
Over the past 36 hours, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations, DDC, and the Build It Back program sent safety teams, engineers and builders to survey all homes in construction to implement additional safe guards ahead of the storm. The Housing Recovery Office will continue to monitor all work sites throughout the storm event and implement whatever additional safeguards need to be put in place.