The size and track of Sandy leads the experts and government officials to conclude that it will be dangerous. The heavy wind and rains increase the likelihood of flooding, fallen trees, blocked roads and power outages, so weather conditions should be closely monitored. Do not take this storm lightly. Monitor its progress and follow the guidance provided by Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg and/or your County Executive.
Mandatory Evacuation. In New York City, low-lying areas include: Coney Island, Manhattan Beach, and Red Hook and other areas along the East River in Brooklyn; all of the Rockaways, and also Hamilton Beach and Broad Channel in Queens; almost all the coastal areas of Staten Island; City Island, a small patch of Throgs Neck, and other patches of the South Bronx; and Battery Park City and stretches of the West Side waterfront and of the Lower East Side and East Village in Manhattan. Those living outside of NYC should check the Nassau (including evacuation routes), Suffolk or Westchester emergency websites.
Transportation. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will begin the orderly suspension of all subway, bus and commuter railroad service at 7 p.m. Sunday to protect customers, employees and equipment from the approach of Hurricane Sandy.
The New York City subway system will begin to curtail service after 7 p.m., and the New York City bus system within the following two hours. Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road will start their final trains by 7 p.m. Subway and railway stations will be closed after the last trains.
Depending on the impact of the storm, officials may close bridges and tunnels to traffic.
Schools. Due to anticipated severe weather conditions from Hurricane Sandy, all New York City public schools will be closed to students Monday, October 29. Administrative offices will be open. All after-school activities and Public Schools Athletic League events will also be cancelled. We are asking that school staff and employees assigned to a shelter site to report to their posts.
A determination about whether schools will open on Tuesday will be made on Monday, so please continue to monitor the news and nyc.gov for updates to the City’s preparations and response.
Most non-public schools follow the lead of the public schools and will be closed. Parents should check with their children’s schools for a final determination. Many universities and colleges announced that they will be closed on Monday.
Forecast. As of 2:00 PM on Sunday the National Weather Service forecast for NYC:
- Sunday afternoon. Cloudy, with a high near 60. Breezy, with a northeast wind around 21 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph.
- Sunday night. A chance of light rain, mainly after 2am. Cloudy, with a low around 53. Windy, with a northeast wind 26 to 31 mph, with gusts as high as 48 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
- Monday. Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 58. Very windy, with a northeast wind 39 to 43 mph, with gusts as high as 60 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.
- Monday Night. Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. Low around 55. Very windy, with a northeast wind 45 to 50 mph, with gusts as high as 70 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.
- Tuesday. Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 55. Very windy, with a southeast wind 37 to 43 mph, with gusts as high as 60 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
- Tuesday Night. Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 48. Windy. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
The JCRC-NY recommends:
- Be informed. Broadcast and print media are doing a good job, but storms can be unpredictable. Pay attention to the updates. For preparation planning tips, see information from NYC, Nassau (including evacuation routes), Suffolk and Westchester.
- Do you live in an evacuation zone? If you do, determine where you will go and how you will get there if there is an evacuation. If you have pets, you should prepare for them as well.
- Plan and Prepare.
- Stockpile food, water and medicine. Organizations should alert their members and suggest that they top off their food supply and check that they have sufficient medication on hand in the event that they can’t leave the house. People should also have a reserve of water (it’s a good idea to freeze water in gallon plastic bags which can help to prevent the food in your refrigerator from spoiling in the event of a power outage).
- Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit for Home and a Go-Bag for Evacuation
- Preparea Personal Evacuation Plan
- Develop a Family Communications Plan
- Prepare your organizations for power outages
As you’ve probably heard in the media, Hurricane Sandy (now dubbed ‘Frankenstorm’, will move northward through the Bahamas on Friday, bringing tropical storm conditions to the east coast of Florida. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the Carolinas Saturday and Saturday night. Sandy is expected to turn toward the northeast on Saturday, followed by a turn to the northwest early next week, with direct impacts expected for the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast U.S. on Monday and/or Tuesday. The most current forecast can always be found here.
Stay tuned! Sandy could miss our region entirely, brush by it, or slam directly into it early next week. Experts believe the area will not go unscathed. A direct-hit scenario would have “huge implications” in our area. Even if Sandy only makes a “close pass” it will likely be impactful; with strong winds that would topple trees causing widespread power outages, storm surge, and coastal flooding.
If you have not done so already, it is important that you:
- Keep up to date with local conditions – follow TV and radio reports from your area and be prepared to follow guidance from Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg and other local officials.
- Check your family’s emergency supply kit – make certain you have food, water, medications, and other necessities to sustain you, your family and family pets for at least 72 hours.
- Remember food safety – power outages and flooding may happen as a result of a tropical storm or hurricane, so have a plan for keeping food safe. Have a cooler on hand to keep food cold, and group food together in the freezer so it stays cold longer.
- Have an adequate communication plan – be sure friends and family know how to contact you. Teach family members how to use text messaging as text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call can’t get through.
Keep in mind, hurricanes bring heavy rains, storm surges, and possible flooding events. Avoid walking or driving through any flooded areas – it takes only six inches of fast-moving flood water to knock over an adult and two feet to move a vehicle. Remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
You can get hurricane safety tips from NYC Office of Emergency Management here or right on your phone by downloading these useful apps:
It is unlikely that this storm will have the same impact as last year’s, Irene. However, there is the likelihood of heavy rains, high winds and downed trees. There’s no reason to panic, but what should you be doing now?
- Pay attention. Most news sources are covering the storm’s progress. As the storm works its way up the coast there will be more information and specific recommendations. Have a battery-operated and/or crank radio. Most weather apps for smart phones relay severe weather alerts. Install one and adjust the settings to let you know when something is happening.
- Check if you have the right supplies.
- Power outages. These storms often cause power outages. Are you prepared? See JCRC-NY’s Power Outages 101 for Jewish Organizations (PDF) for suggestions and tips. Stock up on flashlight batteries and make sure that your cell phones are fully charges (and think about having a spare battery).
- Food. You might not be able to get out for a few days and local stores may not get their regularly scheduled deliveries.
- Batten the hatches. Items left outside can become airborne in high winds. Either bring them inside or make sure that they are secured.