Hurricane Sandy demonstrated the immense damage and devastation that hurricanes can bring to New York City. Make a plan before a storm arrives to help keep your employees and business safe and prepared.
Here are some steps to do so:

1. Know Your Flood Zone (See Map)
2. Preparing In Advance
a. Make a Plan
i. Keep copies of important records you may need to rebuild your business in a waterproof, fireproof, portable container. Keep a second set at an off-site location.
ii. Consider the various ways different natural disasters may affect your ability to do business (e.q. a power outage may inhibit your ability to accept credit card).
iii. Make a list of your most important contacts/clients and plan ways to communicate with them after and during a disaster.
iv. Determine which staff, materials, procedures, contacts, and equipment are necessary to keep your organization operating.
v. Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit (Go Bag).
vi. Assemble materials to Shelter in Place in the event that you and your co-workers must remain in-place for a length of time.
vii. Know your local fire department. Contact information can be found below.
viii. Visit NYC.gov for more information.
b. Prepare Employees
i. It’s important to talk to your employees often about what to do before, during, and after an emergency, both onsite and off.
ii. Set up a call tree, an email alert, or a call-in voice recording to communicate with employees.
c. Prepare Your Space
i. Review your insurance coverage, and understand what your policy covers. Consider expanding your insurance to include coverage for direct and indirect costs associated with a disaster.
ii. Think about what equipment is necessary for the survival of your business in the case of an emergency. Prepare in advance how to obtain replacement parts/back-up should they be damaged.
3. Locate Your Nearest Evacuation Center. (sites listed below)

4. Helpful Information During a Hurricane
a. If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the #1 cause of weather-related deaths in the US.
b. Do not walk through moving water. As little as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of moving water can make you fall.
c. Activate your Shelter in Place program should the need arise.
i. If it is not safe to evacuate, you may be asked by emergency officials to shelter in place. This may be as simple as remaining in your office or store while officials clear hazards from the area.
ii. Identify a room with a few doors or windows to shelter in place. Ideally the room should allow at least 10 square feet per person. If instructed by emergency officials, turn off all ventilation systems and seal doors.
iii. Stay tuned to local communication outlets for updates from emergency officials.
d. If you must evacuate, follow your building’s specific evacuation plan.
i. If you are a tenant in the building, coordinate evacuation plans with your building manager.
ii. All employees should bring their Go Bag with them in the case of an evacuation.
5. Helpful Information After a Hurricane
a. Take pictures of any damage for insurance purpose.
b. Avoid puddles, may contain electrical charge from down power lines.
c. Contact FEMA, NYC Small Business Services to determine potential assistance

Nearest FDNY location:
52 Duane St, New York, NY 10007

Below are some helpful links and resources to help prepare you and your business:
– Partners in Preparedness: NYC.gov/partnershipsinpreparedness
– Ready New York: NYC.gov/readyny
o Ready NYC app, available for Apple IOS and Android
– Notify NYC: NYC.gov/notifynyc
– NYC Emergency Management: NYC.gov/emergencymanagement
– NYC Emergency Management Business Resources: NYC.gov/preparemybusiness
– Ready New York – for emergency preparedness information and to request a presentation: NYC.gov/readyny
– NYC Department of Small Business Services: NYC.gov/sbs
– NYC Department of Buildings NYC.gov/buildings

Information about these resources is also available by contacting 311 (TTY: 212 – 504 – 4115).

NEAREST EVACUATION CENTER * FROM 180 Varick*
1.09 miles
Seward Park HS
350 Grand Street
Between Ludlow Street and Essex Street
New York, NY 10002

1.43 miles
Baruch College
155 E 24 Streets
Between Lexington Avenue and 3 Avenue
New York, NY 10010

But NONE close enough to be wheelchair accessible
5.15 miles
PS 24
427 38 Street
Between 4 Avenue and 5 Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11232