September 5, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Directs All State Agencies to Deploy Necessary Resources to Respond to Peak Hurricane Season

Governor Hochul Directs All State Agencies to Deploy Necessary Resources to Respond to Peak Hurricane Season

Governor's Whole-Of-Government Deployment of Resources Comes In Response To "New Normal" Of Climate Change; Hurricanes Impacting New York At Greater Level Since Sandy In 2012

NOAA Recently Increased Atlantic Hurricane Season Prediction to “Above Normal” With More Storms Expected Than Previous Year

Governor Urges Public To Stay Prepared, Including Subscribing To NY-Alert to Receive Real-Time Weather and Emergency Alerts During Hurricane Season

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced New York State’s executive agencies are fully prepared for and ready to respond to any impacts caused by tropical storms during the months of September and October, when the Atlantic hurricane season is at its peak activity. Governor Hochul and her administration have placed significant emphasis on preparedness and planning for every type of emergency, including tropical storms and hurricanes. These are destructive weather systems which can lead to injury or death, catastrophic infrastructure damage and often have long-lasting impacts to communities in the weeks and months following an event. While no current storms in the Atlantic will have a direct impact to New York State, Governor Hochul urged New Yorkers to take time now to prepare in the event of a future hurricane.

“New York is no stranger to the devastating effects that hurricanes can have on our communities,” Governor Hochul said. “As we enter peak hurricane season, my administration is prepared to respond on every front to protect our state against the impacts of these catastrophic storms. Over the next few months, I encourage all New Yorkers to stay informed and review their hurricane preparedness plans to stay safe.”

Although the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, traditionally in New York, the threat of tropical storms is higher in the months of September and October. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there were 14 named hurricanes in 2022 in the Atlantic. NOAA recently upped its prediction for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season to include a total of 14-21 named storms by the end of the season.

Governor Hochul announced the following efforts and resources State Agencies provide before, during and after a hurricane:

Agency Preparedness Efforts and Resources

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES)
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES)’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) works throughout the year with its local government partners throughout the state to ensure preparedness for all hazards, including tropical storms. OEM also hosts and conducts routine trainings and exercises out of the State Emergency Operations Center with state and local officials. Last month, DHSES hosted an Executive-level Hurricane Tabletop Exercise with the Governor’s Office and partner agencies. Earlier this year, Governor Hochul announced DHSES would be working alongside the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Hurricane Center, and local emergency management agencies from New York City, Long Island, and the Mid-Hudson Regions. OEM conducts year-round assessments of stockpile resources that could be deployed before, during and after a tropical storm, including generators, light towers, water pumps, sandbags, cots, blankets, MREs and water. OEM coordinates State Agency response with pre-staging equipment, personnel and other resources that can also be shifted throughout the course of a tropical storm event. These resources include flood rescue teams, search and rescue teams, high-axle vehicles to navigate flooded roads, and communication assets for emergency responders.

The Division’s Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) supports tropical storm and flood response in the event of a hurricane. OFPC personnel work with partner agencies to deploy swift water rescue teams that support emergency response in flooded areas. These specialized teams are deployed pre-landfall to the areas forecast to be most impacted. OFPC also hosts swift water rescue training at the State Preparedness Training Center each year between April and October for emergency response partners at State and local public safety agencies.

The Division’s Disaster Recovery Unit works on the ground with federal and local officials to assess damages following a storm in order to maximize federal disaster assistance for impacted communities. They support the recovery efforts across the state throughout the year following any disaster. The unit also administers the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program on behalf of FEMA for the entire state. This program prioritizes capital projects that address long-term solutions for addressing the impact of climate disasters and bolstering infrastructure.

The Division has a long-standing partnership with the New York National Guard to offer all-hazards training for everyday New Yorkers throughout the year, encouraging residents to create emergency plans. The New York State Citizen Preparedness Corps (CPC) hosts sessions for the public with information on how to build a go-kit and offers example disaster kits (one per family). Earlier this year, Governor Hochul announced the program is now available online in 13 different languages. Since 2014, more than 365,000 New Yorkers have enrolled in in-person CPC courses. There are nearly 30 events scheduled throughout the state for the month of September.


Department of Public Service
The Department of Public Service (DPS) oversees regulated utility emergency preparedness and response including preparation activities, customer impact, and storm response. As part of assessing utility readiness, DPS staff reviews and oversees regulated utilities’ emergency response plans, which includes preparing for hurricanes and other natural disasters. New York's utilities have approximately 5,500 workers available daily to engage in damage assessment, response, repair, and restoration efforts across New York State, but thousands more workers can be called in, depending on the severity of the storm. DPS staff will track utilities' work throughout the event and ensure utilities shift appropriate staffing to regions that experience the greatest impact.

DPS begins tracking various forecasts, especially during the Atlantic Basin Tropical Cyclone season, to understand possible utility exposure prior to weather events reaching New York State. DPS assesses the likelihood of an event to affect the state and prepares internal correspondence for those weather events that may cause damage or issues to utility infrastructure. As confidence grows in a storm’s impact the correspondences provide greater details.

New York’s utilities also tracking weather forecasts and make preparedness decisions based on the forecast, internal modeling and previous experience. DPS staff communicates regularly with the utilities prior to a weather system impacting NYS to ensure preparedness is underway, pre-incident classifications are being discussed and assigned and, as necessary, appropriate external staffing is being secured prior to impact. The various utilities also coordinate prior to and following a storm event, to aid in 911 emergency make safe, damage assessment, repairand restoration efforts. Municipal officials are also kept abreast of pre-event forecast and preparedness, by the utilities, and kept aware of the status of response, repair, and restoration efforts throughout an event.

New York Power Authority
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) collaborates with New York State’s Investor Owned Utilities, as well as the municipal and rural cooperative electric systems throughout the state, to review and discuss mutual assistance for potential power restoration efforts. NYPA also maintains open lines of communication with the American Public Power Association as part of its mutual assistance network, which provides a safety net of support to public power utilities around the country

Long Island Power Authority
The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) continues to prioritize the electric reliability of Long Island and the Rockaways through continuous infrastructure enhancements and rigorous storm hardening efforts, working to mitigate the effects of climate change through multi-year programs that reduce the number and duration of outages after significant storms. LIPA’s $5.7 billion investment in reliability and resiliency has led to significantly improved outcomes, including a 37% reduction in customers experiencing power outages. Over the past ten years, more than 1,275 miles of distribution mainline circuits have been strengthened, leading to a 49% drop in damage-related outages in storm-hardened zones. LIPA has also storm-hardened 10 substations, elevating 7 of those substations, to protect from dangerous storm surges. To further bolster LIPA’s commitment, active tree trimming, and vine mitigation efforts are in place to avert possible service disruptions. Furthermore, LIPA and its service provider, PSEG Long Island, have a DPS-approved Emergency Restoration Plan, ensuring decisive actions are taken ahead of impending weather threats while prioritizing the needs and safety of our customers.

Department of Environmental Conservation
The Department of Environmental Conservation’s Police Officers, Forest Rangers, Emergency Management staff, and regional staff are on alert and monitoring the developing situation and weather forecasts, and actively patrolling areas and infrastructure likely to be impacted by severe weather. All available assets, including swift water rescue teams, are positioned to assist with any emergency response.

In addition, DEC is closely monitoring weather conditions for potential impacts on New York's coastline and will conduct post-storm coastal inspections to assess erosion and possible impacts to projects currently underway. DEC also offers region-specific guidance for storm preparation and response. With the potential for heavy rains, hikers in the Adirondacks are advised to temporarily avoid all high-elevation trails and trails that cross rivers and streams. Hikers are encouraged to check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages or Catskill Backcountry Information pages for updates on trail conditions, seasonal road closures, and general recreation information before heading out.

DEC offers Post-Flood Stream Reconstruction guidelines and best practices and educational information about stormwater and storm debris management. DEC supports storm recovery permitting that aids affected regions of the state for non-emergency cleanup and repair work necessitated by severe storms which may include heavy rains, flash flooding, and thunderstorms.

Department of Transportation
The State Department of Transportation vigilantly prepares for any weather that may occur with nearly 3500 operators and supervisors available statewide. Throughout the summer and hurricane season staff continuously monitor the current and future weather forecasts, focusing attention on keeping the equipment most often needed during these events up and running. This includes large dump trucks, large loaders, chippers, excavators, vacuum trucks with sewer jets, and tree crew bucket trucks. As storms are predicted, crews proactively patrol to make sure flood prone areas are free of debris and drainage structures are clear.

Thruway Authority
Thruway Authority staff is currently monitoring the weather forecast particularly the hurricane activity in the Atlantic this season. There are 657 operators and supervisors prepared to respond to wind or flood related issues across the state with small to medium sized excavators, dump trucks, large loaders, portable VMS boards, portable light towers, smaller generators, smaller pumps and equipment hauling trailers, as well as signage and other traffic control devices available for any detours or closures. In preparation for rain events, maintenance crews check drainage structures and then conduct post-storm inspections of slopes for instability. Variable Message Signs and social media are utilized to alert motorists of weather conditions on the Thruway. The Thruway Authority encourages motorists to download its mobile app which is available to download for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to live traffic cameras, real-time traffic information and navigation assistance while on the go. Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert e-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway, follow @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter, and visit thruway.ny.gov to see an interactive map showing traffic conditions for the Thruway and other New York State roadways.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is closely monitoring weather conditions to ensure safe, reliable service. MTA employees will be poised to respond to any weather-related issues.

To reduce the likelihood of flooding and respond to any instances of flooding that do occur, MTA crews will inspect drains in flood-prone areas to ensure they are functional, and supervisors will monitor flood-prone locations for any reports of flooding to ensure quick response. Elevator and escalator specialists will be deployed to flood-prone locations to attend to any weather-related elevator and escalator troubles.

In the event of high winds, MTA Bridges and Tunnels could implement a ban on empty tractor-trailers and tandem trucks during peak wind periods. Pedestrian walkways on bridges may also be closed due if high winds are forecasted.

Customers are encouraged to check new.mta.info for the latest service updates, and to use caution while navigating the system. Customers should also sign up for real-time service alerts via text or email. These alerts are also available via the MTA's apps: MYmta and TrainTime.

Port Authority
The Port Authority monitors weather conditions across all its facilities. In the event of severe weather conditions, the agency issues regular travel alerts and updates as needed. For the latest information about Port Authority facilities, please check social media, sign up for PA alerts or download one of the PA mobile apps, including RidePATH which provides real-time updates and alerts for PATH service.


New York State Police
The New York State Police are prepared to deploy additional Troopers as needed to affected areas. All State Police specialized vehicles are staged and ready for immediate response, and all emergency power and communications equipment has been tested.

Division of Military and Naval Affairs
The Division of Military and Naval Affairs oversees the military forces of New York Army and Air National Guard, the New York Naval Militia, and the New York Guard. These forces are equipped with helicopters, high-axle vehicles, and specialized communications equipment. NYNG personnel are prepared to provide transportation, logistics support, security, and general purposes forces to assist local governments when directed by the governor.

DMNA and DHSES conduct annual hurricane preparedness planning that involves commanders of standing task forces assigned to each region of New York. These plans determine the numbers of military personnel and equipment needed for a hurricane response.

New York’s military forces are prepared to deploy ahead of a storm, so that troops and equipment are on the scene and ready to respond as quickly as possible. In instances were addition troops or equipment are required, DMNA can request assistance from the National Guards of other states.

Department of Financial Services
The Governor deploys Department of Financial Services (DFS) personnel onsite at storm locations to answer any insurance-related questions. Individuals can also call the DFS Disaster Hotline at (800) 339-1759 or visit the DFS Disaster and Flood Recovery Resource Center for assistance.

Office of Information and Technology Services
As New York State’s IT service provider, the Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) plays an essential role in supporting critical emergency management operations, including providing on-site technological assistance and multi-faceted communication tools such as mobile phones, laptops, and wi-fi capability to ensure emergency personnel stay connected and can communicate effectively during a hurricane or other similar event.

In order to respond to quickly changing conditions, ITS has recently initiated a plan to create regional stockpiles of critical technology equipment to ensure deployment is rapid and efficient. ITS is responsible for maintenance and support for NY-Alert, the state’s all-hazards alert and notification system, and is currently collaborating with its agency partners to expand the subscriber base to ensure real-time emergency, traffic and public safety information is delivered to as many New Yorkers as possible.

The agency’s Geographic Information Services (GIS) team can utilize its extensive database to capture, create, store, interpret, analyze and visualize spacial data that can be used to inform and assist the state’s emergency preparedness and response efforts.

Department of Health
The Department of Health provides information on its website on how to prepare for extreme weather, what to do during a storm, and tips for cleanup, here.

Thinking about emergencies can be stressful, so try to familiarize yourself with this information ahead of time to know what to do before, during, or after extreme weather. Always follow health and safety alerts from government organizations and other experts during an emergency.

New York State's climate is becoming warmer, wetter and more erratic. Unexpected weather is occurring more often. It's not unusual to see major storms, heavy rain or snow, flooding, heat waves, and sudden ups and downs in temperature. These changes are impacting our health and well-being.

Storms can be dangerous to health and well-being. They can result in flooding and power outages, as well as damage to buildings, roads and other systems. Changes to New York's climate are bringing more intense storms (for example, heavy downpours, snowfall or long periods of rain) and more intense flooding.

Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation
In the event of predicted severe weather, New York State Park Police and park personnel stay on alert and closely monitor weather conditions and impacts. At ocean beaches, State Parks staff take proactive steps to protect vulnerable buildings from flooding, including building temporary sand berms and placing sandbags at key locations. Beaches will be cleared of all non-essential equipment such as trash receptacles and signage to avoid wind and flooding damage. Prohibitions on swimming and other recreational activities may be enacted due to dangerous conditions. State Park Police and park personnel coordinate with other state agencies to provide needed emergency response equipment and personnel, including swift water rescue teams, sawyer crews and logistics support.

Park visitors should visit parks.ny.gov, check the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings and closings.

Hurricane Safety Tips for New Yorkers

All New Yorkers should know how to track tropical storms and receive timely alerts that let them know what they need to do to stay safe, including evacuation. The best way to receive timely weather alerts is by signing up for NY-Alert, a free service that provides weather and other emergency-related alerts.

Take the following steps to ensure you and your loved ones are protected:

  • Develop a household disaster plan and know how to contact family members at all times. Identify an out-of-town friend or family member to be the "emergency family contact" and make certain all family members have the contact info.
  • Designate an emergency meeting spot - a familiar location where family can meet if the residence cannot be accessed.
  • Know hurricane and storm risks in your community.
  • If you live near coastal areas, learn about your area's storm surge history and your community's warning signals and evacuation plans, including safe routes inland and the location of official shelters.
  • Know where to relocate pets during a storm - most shelters will not allow pets.

Keep the following supplies on-hand:

  • Enough non-perishable food and water supplies for 10 days.
  • Battery-operated radios and flashlights and an ample supply of batteries.
  • A first aid with supply of medicines.
  • Important documents: Insurance policies, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc. in a waterproof container.
  • Cash, checkbook, credit cards and ATM cards.
  • An emergency contact list of people and organizations who may need to be called: schools, doctors, providers, and insurance contacts.

Take the following preventative measures:

  • Obtain and store materials, such as plywood, necessary to properly secure your home.
  • Repair loose and clear clogged rain gutters and down spouts.
  • Secure or bring inside lawn furniture and other loose, lightweight objects such as garbage cans and garden tools that could become projectiles in high winds. Also keep trees and shrubbery trimmed of dead wood.
  • Review insurance policies to determine extent of coverage before a storm strikes.
  • Determine where to move boats in an emergency.
  • Be aware of local weather conditions by listening to National Weather Service broadcasts on NOAA Weather Radio and reports from local television and radio stations.
  • Know how to turn off the power, heat and water at home.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
New York City: (212) 681-4640

Translations

الترجمة إلى العربية
বাংলা অনুবাদ
Traduction en français
Tradiksyon kreyòl ayisyen
Traduzione italiana
Polskie tłumaczenie
Перевод на русский язык
Traducción al español
پیلے رنگ سے نمایاں کردہ ٹیکسٹ
אידישע איבערטייטשונג