Hurricane Irene – Updates, Tips & links


The current forecast is that Hurricane Irene will reach the New York metropolitan area as a Category One storm. The ground speed of the storm has accelerated; gale forces winds of 40 miles per hour will reach New York City by 9 pm Saturday. The severe weather is expected to last between 12 and 18 hours. As Hurricane Irene continues on its path, the impact on New York City becomes more clear and additional information and precautions are being advised.


  • Mayor Bloomberg ordered a mandatory evacuation of coastal areas in Brooklyn, Queens, including all of the Rockaways, and Staten Island, along with Battery Park City and the financial district in Lower Manhattan and Governor’s Island. People are expected to be out of these areas by 5PM on Saturday.
  • MTA and NJ Transit service, including subways, buses, and railroads, will begin to shut down at noon Saturday. Depending on the effect of the storm MTA service may not be restored in time for rush hour Monday morning.
  • The NYC Department of Buildings is ordering suspension of all work at construction sites in New York City as of 2 p.m. Saturday, August 27 to 7 a.m. Monday, August, 29, 2011. Please continue to review their website for the most up to date information on precautions for buildings and construction sites.
  • The City is revoking permits for events on Sunday and in the low-lying areas on Saturday.
  •  Evacuation centers are open as of 4:00 pm today, Friday August 26; there are 91 centers in total. See link below for location of evacuation centers.
  • Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has declared a state of emergency in the State of New York and may close bridges and tunnels if winds exceed 60 miles an hour for more than a short time

Building Owners and Managers can prepare by:

  • Organizing emergency contact information for staff, tenants, and vendors.
  •  Locate and review relevant insurance information.
  •  Ensure you have proper staffing to run the building and perform EAP duties.
  •  Secure objects in and around building such as lawn furniture, garbage cans, gas grills, antennas and satellite dishes.
  • Check flood pumps to ensure proper operation.
  • Make sure backup generators are working properly and you have adequate fuel.
  • Residential buildings should notify residents to secure outdoor furniture on patios and balconies.

In addition to the city’s local preparations, FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security have regional and national support personnel briefed and on call. FEMA’s Private Sector Desk is operational from 8am-8pm daily and can be reached at or by calling 202-212-2240. Our regional private sector liaison is Terry Winters who can be reached at or 212-680-8516.

For more information on Hurricane Irene, please check the resources below:

NYC Department of Buildings:

NYC Office of Emergency Management:


National Weather Service:

To locate your local evacuation center:

Details of MTA Shutdown

Please stay safe.



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