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.


Nor’easter expected to bring rain, coastal flooding, strong winds, and possible snow Thursday night into Saturday morning

Minor to moderate coastal flooding possible during Friday and Saturday high tide cycles

March 1, 2018 – The New York City Emergency Management Department today advised New Yorkers living in coastal areas of the potential for coastal flooding Friday and Saturday. According to the National Weather Service, a nor’easter is expected to bring steady moderate to heavy rain and strong winds to the New York City area Friday morning through Saturday night. Rain may mix with and change to snow on Friday. The steady rain and strong winds, along with an astronomical high tide due to the new moon, may create minor to moderate coastal flooding during the Friday and Saturday high tide cycles.

The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Warning in effect from 6 a.m. through 11 a.m. Friday for the shores along Southern Queens. A Coastal Flood Warning means that flooding is expected or occurring.

A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect from 6 a.m. through 9 a.m. Friday for the coastal areas and the most vulnerable shore roads in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island. A Coastal Flood Advisory indicates that onshore winds and tides will combine to generate flooding of low areas along the shore. Some roads and low-lying property near the waterfront will experience shallow flooding.

A Coastal Flood Watch is in effect from 6 p.m. Friday through 2 a.m. Sunday for the shores along Southern Queens. A Coastal Flood Watch means that conditions favorable for flooding are expected to develop. There is the potential for widespread flooding of vulnerable areas near the waterfront and shoreline. Coastal residents should be alert for later statements or warnings and take action to protect property.

A Flood Watch is in effect for New York City from 6 a.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Saturday. Steady moderate to heavy rainfall will begin Thursday night and continue through Saturday. The forecast predicts that the heaviest rain will occur Friday morning. Two to three inches of rain is forecast for the area. A Flood Watch means that periods of heavy rainfall may cause widespread flooding of poor drainage and low-lying urban areas.

A High Wind Warning is in effect for New York City from 11 a.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Saturday, March 3. Strong winds are forecast, with sustained winds of 25 mph to 40 mph and gusts up to 60 mph. A High Wind Warning means that a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring, with damaging winds capable of downing trees and power lines. Power outages are possible.

Safety Tips

NYC residents living in coastal areas expected to experience minor or moderate coastal flooding should take the following preparedness steps:

  • Prepare a Go Bag — a collection of things you would want if you have to leave in a hurry — for every member of your household, including pets.
  • Learn the safest route from your home or workplace to safe, high ground in case you have to evacuate. This should be part of your household emergency plan
  • 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. 
  • Stay informed. Before and during an emergency, the City will send emergency alerts and updates to New Yorkers through various channels, including Notify NYC. New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency communications program. To sign up for Notify NYC, download the free mobile application, visit NYC.gov/NotifyNYC, call 311, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.
  • 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.
  • Charge cell phone batteries.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to a colder setting. If you lose power, items that need refrigeration will stay cooler for longer.
  • If you lose power & have a disability/access needs or use Life Sustaining Equipment (LSE) & need immediate assistance, dial 911.

City Preparations

  • NYC Emergency Management is in constant communication with the National Weather Service and will continue to track and monitor the storm and potential impacts to the city.
  • NYC Emergency Management has convened daily interagency conference calls with dozens of City and state agencies and partner organizations to coordinate storm preparation and response activities.
  • The City’s Downed Tree Task Force has been placed on stand-by. Staffed by decision makers from agencies involved in removing trees and debris, the task force coordinates the response to large downed tree events.
  • Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) crews are pre-inspecting 300 flood-prone locations citywide for catch basin cleaning and maintenance. Additional Sewer Operations staff will be available to address drainage issues that may arise throughout the storm.
  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers throughout the City are supporting DEP with clearing catch basins to help avoid flooding and backups. 
  • NYC Parks will monitor 311 calls and will have staff ready to respond to hazardous tree conditions.
  • NYCHA Property Management is taking precautionary steps to ensure safety at its developments. This includes increased maintenance of catch basins, securing or bringing inside lightweight objects, and inspecting sidewalk sheds and temporary structures to ensure components are secure.
  • NYCHA Support Services is pre-staging dewatering equipment and pumping teams at known vulnerable sites, lowering light towers, checking and fueling generators, and preparing equipment and vehicles.
  • The NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) has issued a weather advisory reminding property owners, contractors, and crane operators to take precautionary measures and secure their construction sites, buildings, and equipment during this weather event. If sites are not secured, DOB will take enforcement action – issuing violations and stop-work orders, where necessary.

Department of Buildings Guidance

To safeguard construction sites, builders, contractors, and developers should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:

  • Tie down and secure material and loose debris at construction sites.
  • Cover electrical equipment from exposure to the weather.
  • Store loose tools, oil cans, and extra fuses in a toolbox.
  • Secure netting, scaffolding, and sidewalk sheds.
  • Suspend crane operations and secure crane equipment when wind speeds reach 30 mph or greater.
  • Suspend hoist operations and secure exterior hoists when wind speeds reach 35 mph or greater, unless manufacturer specifications state otherwise.
  • Brace and secure construction fences.         
  • Call 911 if there is an emergency on a construction site.

Buildings Bulletin 2015-029 outlines the requirements for vertical netting, debris netting and material-fall protection devices at buildings and construction sites. 

To secure a building, property owners should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:

  • 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 umbrellas.
  • Secure retractable awnings.
  • Remove aerial antennas and satellite television dishes.

Department of Transportation

The Staten Island Ferry will continue to operate on a modified schedule. Passengers should allow for additional travel time and anticipate delays due to the inclement weather.

Department of Sanitation

The NYC Department of Sanitation is loading 693 salt spreaders and affixing plow to its trucks. Front-end loaders will also be available for tree limb removal, if necessary.

Department of Social Services

A Code Blue Weather Emergency notice is issued when the temperature is forecast to drop to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or less between 4 p.m. and 8 a.m., including National Weather Service calculations for wind chill values. No one who is homeless and seeking shelter in New York City during a Code Blue will be denied. Should you see an individual who appears to be homeless and in need out in the cold, please call 311 and an outreach team will be dispatched to offer assistance. During Code Blue Weather emergencies, experienced outreach teams work to connect homeless New Yorkers with the following resources:

  • Shelters: During a Code Blue, shelter is available system-wide to accommodate anyone who is reasonably believed to be homeless and is brought to a shelter by outreach teams. Accommodations are also available for walk-ins.
  • Drop-in centers: All drop-in centers are open 24-hours per day, including when Code Blue procedures are in effect, and will assist as many people as possible for the duration of the emergency. Drop-in staff and the dedicated outreach teams they work closely with every day can also make arrangements for homeless individuals at other citywide facilities.
  • Safe havens and stabilization beds: Chronically homeless individuals may be transported directly to these low-threshold housing programs.
  • Street homeless outreach: Teams will contact vulnerable individuals on their Code Blue Priority Lists a minimum of once every four (4) hours beginning at 8 p.m. during Code Blue Alerts and once every two (2) hours beginning at 8 p.m. for Enhanced Code Blue Alerts to encourage them to accept services, including transportation to a shelter placement. DSS coordinates borough-level Code Blue efforts directly with partner City agencies, including but not limited to NYPD, DSNY, and the Parks Department.

For more information, visit nyc.gov/emergencymanagement. New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency communications program, for the latest information and updates on this storm and emergency events in NYC. To sign up for Notify NYC, download the free mobile application, visit NYC.gov/NotifyNYC, call 311, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

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: https://www.advancewarningsystemnyc.org/aws

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.

March 01, 2018