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  • Know your Zone: Hurricane Preparedness in the Big Apple

    Know your Zone: Hurricane Prep in the Big Apple

    At the beginning of June, my hometown’s major league baseball team geared up for its annual trouncing by the New York Yankees. Which is why it pains me to say that I’ve discovered something really useful and positive coming out of New York this summer. I’ll be big and put my fanaticism behind me because this is really cool.

    It’s a branch of New York City’s government website called “Know Your Zone,” and it’s a combination of compiled resources and awareness-raising branding, all related to hurricane preparedness. The gist of New York’s hurricane preparation program is the division of the region into evacuation zones, all color-coded on bright and legible maps, and putting in place smooth communication systems to take care of each zones’ residents in the event of a storm.

    As far as I’m concerned, the genius of the site is the way it collects loads of information from several different offices and pages into one place—a sort of one-stop-shopping experience for hurricane preparedness.

    The main page is divided into three sections, with hurricane and evacuation FAQs at the bottom, and useful links and downloads in the middle, including these really smartly designed virtual badges for local businesses’ websites.

     Zone pic

    The top bit, though, is where the real meat is. Large, graphic buttons, with titles like “Find Your Zone,” and “Make a Plan,” send you to other nyc.gov sites, where you can access resources like hurricane evacuation maps or the Office of Emergency Management’s videos and checklists. One of the buttons even shoots you over to the “Notify New York” program, where you can enroll to receive emergency updates via email, voicemail, or text.


    What I love so much about this is that it feels like a neighborhood emergency plan, but on a city-wide scale. Anything that serves the dual purpose of preparedness education and bringing communities together in a common effort gets my vote. Even if it does come from Yankee territory.


    What does your hometown have in place to deal with large-scale emergencies?





    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios Tagged With: Preparedness In The News, Current Events, hurricanes

  • Hurricane Sandy: One Year Later, Thousands Still Displaced

    Flooded house after heavy rain in the evening sunlight.

    “For Kathryn Fitzgerald and her young daughter, Megan, home was a modest three-bedroom house…on a tightly packed segment of Delaware Avenue two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. That was the only home that Megan had ever known, until Hurricane Sandy hit and a rank mixture of floodwater and untreated sewage rose to chest-high in the lower level of the house.

    “Since then, they have lived in rental apartments and Megan, now 9, attended an unfamiliar school in another town for a while as her mother appealed for enough aid to rebuild the life they had…

    “More than a year after one of the country’s largest-ever disaster recovery efforts began, Ms. Fitzgerald is among the more than 30,000 residents of New York and New Jersey who remain displaced by the storm, mired in a bureaucratic and financial limbo.”


    Every year, big storms capture national attention with images of wild weather and large-scale destruction. But when the skies calm and the cameramen pack up and leave town, residents are left to the long, lonely process of returning to normal. Hurricane Sandy may be fading from popular consciousness; but for the victims, fourteen months into the recovery, the disaster is ongoing.

    Kathryn Fitzgerald is just one of a handful of displaced homeowners in the American Northeast interviewed recently by the New York Times—and her story is a representative and cautionary one. Victim after victim reports the difficulty of securing funds to rebuild, whether from government aid agencies or by other means.

    While we talk a lot about the immediate, life-sustaining preparations needed to weather extreme situations, sometimes the most important emergency preparation is financial. Read the full NYT article here to see what a tangled mess of red tape is holding up these people’s efforts to rebuild their lives. Then check out the links below to learn more about financial preparation for disasters. Finally, take another look at our blog post on flood preparedness to learn more about insurance options. Whether it's another storm like Hurricane Sandy, a sudden downpour that causes flooding like that in Colorado earlier this year, or another scenario altogether, you'll be so glad you've prepared in advance.


    New York Times article originally found via Instapundit.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: financial preparedness, flood preparedness, flood, hurricanes, insurance

  • Hurricane Season 2013

    Today, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center stated that “there is a 70 percent likelihood” that there will be three to six major hurricanes this year with winds above 111 mph. Forecasters suggest that “A year after Superstorm Sandy, residents along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts should prepare for ‘an extremely active’" 2013 hurricane season.

    With this forecast in mind, Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA acting administrator, stated Thursday, "Take time to refresh your hurricane preparedness plan . . . bottom line is become weather-ready now—that means starting today."

    Since 2013’s Hurricane season begins on June 1st, now is the time to prepare for a Hurricane. Here are some basic items that you should consider collecting to prepare you for the upcoming storm season:

    Hurricane Kit Supplies:

    Emergency Kit

    First Aid Kit

    Food Storage (have enough for several weeks)

    Water Storage Supply

    Radio (include extra batteries)


    Rain Ponchos

    Sanitation Supplies


    For a more comprehensive list of items to include in your Hurricane Kit, take a look at our Hurricane Checklists for before, during, and after the storm.

    Our 5-part mini-series on Hurricane preparedness also provides additional information on things to consider while preparing for a hurricane.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: hurricane preparedness, hurricanes

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