Hurricane Joaquin – what you need to know to be prepared

Hurricane Joaquin – what you need to know to be prepared

As you know, there’s a chance that Hurricane Joaquin is headed our way. We don’t know its exact path, and hopefully it will head out into the Atlantic, rather than make landfall, as the most likely current forecasts predict (you can stay up-to-date via the National Weather Service, and the NYC Office of Emergency Management).

But since there is a real chance that the storm could hit near NYC, we should be ready. If the storm does hit, it would likely be Monday or Tuesday, so please use the weekend to make sure you’re prepared:

  • Know your hurricane evacuation zone:
  • Have an emergency plan in place for your family: Some good tips are here, including what every household should have on hand in case of emergency (drinking water, nonperishable food, a working flashlight and batteries, etc).
  • Sign up for text and email notifications from Notify NYC, the City’s official source for information about emergency events and important City services, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.
  • Report power outages or downed wires to Con Ed at 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) or (where they also have helpful storm preparation tips).
  • National Grid customers can report gas service interruptions by calling 1-718-643-4050.

In the event that the storm does hit us, we’ll work to set up a system for you contact our office if you have any problems in your neighborhood.

A few other notes:

  • Whatever ends up happening with Joaquin’s trajectory, we are getting a lot of rain. As many of you know too well, there are places in our neighborhood where flooding-from-rain is chronic – especially near the Gowanus Canal , along 9th Street and 2nd Avenue. We can’t fix that before Monday, but I’m working hard to make sure that we address it with a real fix soon.
  • For many of us, this time spent anxiously looking at weather report is evocative of the days after Sandy, and a reminder of the tragedy we weathered together just three years ago. As I think of Sandy, I remember not only the pain we saw, but the extraordinary compassion of our community. If needed, I know that our community will respond again (and we’ll be here to help coordinate efforts). In the meantime, use this weekend to check up on an elderly or homebound neighbor.
  • While no single event can be pinned on climate change, there is overwhelming evidence that the increase in severe weather events is linked to global warming caused by human activity. So if Joaquin doesn’t hit, think about using the found time to take action for a more sustainable planet. I was pleased to see Mayor de Blasio come out earlier this week recommending that NYC’s pension funds divest from coal (and consider other fossil fuels as well). There are so many ways to do so – one is to get involved with 350 Brooklyn (part of the broader network of


P.S. Our hearts go out to the grieving families of the 10 victims of the latest in the horrific string of campus/mass killings at Oregon College (as well as prayers for recovery to those who were wounded). As my friend and colleague Jumaane Williams reminds us, in addition to mourning those victims, we should also extend pre-emptive condolences to the 33 families across the U.S. who – as average statistics show – are likely to lose a loved one to gun violence today.

This is not a time only for mourning, but for action. If you haven’t watched President Obama’s powerful remarks, I urge you to do so. We are the only developed country in the world with so many mass shootings, because we are the only country in the world with such outrageously lax gun laws, and so many guns. One way to express your grief through efforts for change: join Moms Demand Action

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