The Advance Warning System (AWS) disseminates information to people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs through their service providers. Please share the important information below with your clients and other agencies or individuals to empower them to make informed decisions.

The National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for NYC until further notice

The National Weather Service has issued a Storm Surge Watch for the Bronx and Northern Queens until further notice

Heavy rains and gusty winds could limit visibility and create difficult travel conditions into Monday

 New York City beaches closed for swimming on Sunday and Monday

August 20, 2021 – The New York City Emergency Management Department urges New Yorkers to prepare for potential impacts of Tropical Storm Henri. According to the National Weather Service, there is the potential for very heavy rainfall and damaging winds that may flood roadways and reduce visibility to create hazardous travel conditions through the weekend. Storm impacts are forecast to begin late Saturday, before intensifying throughout Sunday into the afternoon. Residual impacts including showers with breezy winds will still be possible into Monday. The National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the New York City area until further notice. A Tropical Storm Watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the possible onset of tropical-storm-force winds, which include sustained wind speeds of 39 mph to 74 mph. 

A Storm Surge Watch also is in effect for parts of New York City including the Bronx and northern Queens until further notice. The combination of strong winds, dangerous storm surge and the tide may cause normally dry areas to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline within the next 48 hours. New York City beaches will be closed for swimming on Sunday and Monday.

“Tropical Storm Henri is currently tracking up the northeast coast and may cause dangerous conditions throughout the weekend. NYC Emergency Management is working closely with City, state, and nonprofit and private-sector partners so we can respond to any impacts caused by the incoming storm,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner John Scrivani. “Though the storm is not expected to make direct landfall, New Yorkers should prepare for heavy rain, strong winds, and localized coastal flooding beginning as early as Saturday evening. Practice caution and avoid unnecessary travel. If you must travel, consider taking public transportation.”

New Yorkers should plan for difficult travel conditions and are advised to exercise caution and consider taking public transportation if they must travel. Those who can stay home during the storm are advised to stay indoors. Heavy rains may lead to potential flooding in low-lying areas throughout the city. If you are traveling, avoid flooded areas, turn on headlights, drive slowly, and exercise caution. Consider avoiding or delaying travel until flooding and heavy rain stop. Due to the hazardous travel conditions, people should allow extra travel time.

NYC Emergency Management remains in constant communication with the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service to track and monitor Tropical Storm Henri and has taken several steps to prepare for potential impacts to the city. The City’s Emergency Operation Center and Situation Room have been activated, and NYC Emergency Management has coordinated daily interagency conference calls to facilitate preparations with City and state agencies, as well as nonprofit and private-sector partners. The City’s Flash Flood Emergency Plan has been activated to help mitigate potential flash flooding and ensure a quick, effective, and coordinated response to any flash flood events that do occur. The City’s Downed Tree Task Force has also been put on alert to coordinate the response to any potential large downed tree event.

  Safety Tips

  •  If you live in a flood-prone area, keep materials, such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber on hand to help protect your home.
  • If you have a disability or access or functional need, make sure your plan addresses how your needs may affect your ability to evacuate, shelter in place, or communicate with emergency workers. Arrange help from family, friends, or service providers if you will need assistance.
  • When outside, avoid walking and driving through flooded areas. As few as six inches of moving water can knock a person over. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling. One or two feet of water can carry away a vehicle.
  • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
  • If you see downed electrical wires, do not go near them. Never attempt to move or touch them with any object. Be mindful that tree limbs, leaves, or water can cover downed wires from view. Always stay away from downed power lines because they could be live.
  • Report downed wires immediately. If a power line falls on your car while you are in it, stay inside the vehicle and wait for emergency personnel.

 Power Outages

  •  To prepare for a possible power outage, charge cell phone batteries, gather supplies, and turn your refrigerator and freezer to a colder setting. If you lose power, items that need refrigeration will stay cooler for longer.
  • Make sure your flashlights and any battery-operated radios or televisions are working. Keep extra batteries.
  • If you lose power and have a disability, access and functional needs or use life-sustaining equipment (LSE) and need immediate assistance, dial 911.
  • Do not use generators indoors.
  • Check on friends, relatives, and neighbors, especially older adults and people with disabilities, access and functional needs, or health conditions. Help them to prepare if needed.

Prepare For Strong Winds

Strong winds can bring down trees and power lines and can turn unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles. To protect against the hazard of strong winds, New Yorkers should:

  • Check the area immediately surrounding your home for unsecured objects or potentially dangerous conditions. Tree limbs, garbage cans, yard debris, or other materials that can be moved by the wind are potential projectiles aimed at your home or parked vehicle.
  • Bring inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools and toys.
  • Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills or propane tanks.
  • Close up and secure patio furniture.
  • Secure retractable awnings.
  • Remove aerial antennas and satellite television dishes.

Stay Informed

Before, during, and after an emergency, the City will send emergency alerts and updates to New Yorkers through various channels, including Notify NYC, the City's free, official emergency communications program. Sign up for Notify NYC to receive free emergency alerts and updates in your preferred language. Register for free to receive by visiting, calling 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115), following @NotifyNYC on Twitter, or getting the free Notify NYC mobile application for your Apple or Android device.

The Advance Warning System (AWS) alerts organizations who work with people with disabilities and access and functional needs to various types of hazards and emergencies in New York City that may affect people's independence and daily lives. Participating organizations receive public preparedness and emergency information that they can relay to their clients and other similar agencies. If you work for an organization that serves people with disabilities or access and functional needs you can subscribe for AWS Alerts at the following link:

Please do no reply to this e-mail. This mailbox is not monitored. To make changes or receive assistance with your account, please login to the AWS website or contact us through the AWS website. If you think you or someone else may have an emergency, call 911 immediately.

August 20, 2021