Study Funded by the National Hurricane Program to Focus on Areas Highest at Risk to Impacts from Tropical Storms, Including New York City, Long Island, and Lower-Mid-Hudson Regions
Initiative Includes Critical Partners Such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Hurricane Center, and Local Emergency Management Agencies
New York State’s Last Hurricane Evacuation Study Conducted in 2009, Prior to Devastating Tropical Storms, Including Sandy, Irene, Lee and Ida; Will Also Analyze Planning for Additional Hazards such as Flooding and Tornadoes
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a new Hurricane Evacuation Study that will improve public safety planning efforts for the New York City, Long Island, and lower-Mid-Hudson regions prone to impacts from catastrophic tropical storms. The study will be conducted by the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Hurricane Center, and local emergency management agencies, in New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, and Westchester County. The State’s updated HES will be used to improve planning for the response to a catastrophic tropical storm, including potential hazards associated with tropical storms such as flooding, tornadoes, etc., sheltering resources and transportation issues, as well as other demographic and socioeconomic factors. This is the first statewide Hurricane Evacuation Study to be conducted since 2009.
“New Yorkers know all too well the devastating impacts tropical storms and hurricanes can bring to our coastal and inland communities along the Mid-Hudson to the eastern tip of Long Island, and everywhere in-between,” Governor Hochul said. “My number one priority is keeping New Yorkers safe, and we will work together with our federal partners and local governments to ensure our communities and their emergency managers have the knowledge, resources and tools necessary to prepare for future storms.”
Earlier this week, Governor Hochul and the National Hurricane Center announced Hurricane Preparedness Week in New York State, which runs from April 30 through May 6. The annual campaign reminds New Yorkers to review personal emergency preparedness plans and learn more about tropical storms and their impacts in advance of the Atlantic hurricane season.
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “Hurricanes and tropical storms are powerful events that cause coastal and inland flooding and dangerously high winds that too often result in the loss of life and significant infrastructure destruction, widespread power outages, and disruptions to communities. Over the next few years, we’ll be working hand in glove with your local emergency managers to update evacuation routes and plans that help keep you safe in the event of an oncoming dangerous tropical storm.”
The National Hurricane Program, which includes FEMA, USACE and the NHC, will provide funding for the Hurricane Evacuation Study. DHSES’ Office of Emergency Management recently kicked off the first two phases of the study – hazard and vulnerability analyses – with all relevant federal and local partners in government. These phases of the study are expected to be completed next fall.
FEMA Region 2 Administrator David Warrington said, “FEMA recognizes how critical it is to update the statewide Hurricane Evacuation Study. We are pleased to play a role in supporting local and state emergency managers make informed decisions for their communities. We will continue to support their preparedness efforts toward future storms as it takes partnership at all levels of government to accomplish such a task.”
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District Commander, Col. Matthew Luzzatto said, “New York District is pleased to support this new study effort for New York State to provide information necessary to ensure that the residents of New York State are prepared for future hurricanes and tropical cyclones. Partnership is the key factor in executing these types of large-scale endeavors and I look forward to continuing to work with our partners in New York State, and FEMA to solve some of the region’s toughest challenges when it comes to hurricane evacuation and other adverse weather events.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, "We know that extreme weather events like hurricanes are getting stronger, more damaging, and more frequent. As climate change advances, knowing where the areas at highest risk of flooding and damage are will help us prepare and respond during future emergencies and builds on this administration's investments in emergency preparedness. I'm grateful to Governor Hochul for launching this study that will help protect New York City in the years to come."
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, “As an Island, water is crucial to our way of life and in this new and increasing reality of extreme weather, we must not remain complacent that the old ways of addressing storms are enough. I would like to thank Governor Hochul for her continued efforts to ensure Long Islanders are safe and prepared for not if, but when another dangerous storm hits."
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said, “Nassau County is working with Governor Hochul to ensure we are ready for any emergency including hurricanes, blizzards and other potential dangers to the public’s safety.”
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, "As we prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, we must remain vigilant and proactive in our efforts to keep our communities safe. This new Hurricane Evacuation Study will provide us with the critical knowledge and resources needed to improve our response and planning efforts in the event of a disastrous storm. We are committed to ensuring the safety of all Westchester residents from the impacts of severe weather and we thank the state for their diligent work."
About the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism, natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or visit dhses.ny.gov.
Contact the Governor’s Press Office
Contact us by phone:
New York City: (212) 681-4640