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Live in a Hurricane Evacuation Zone? Here's What To Do

By Michael P. Ventura | August 25, 2011 11:10pm | Updated on August 27, 2011 1:13pm
The view of Lower Manhattan just after rain started to fall Saturday morning,
The view of Lower Manhattan just after rain started to fall Saturday morning,
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DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

MANHATTAN — If Hurricane Irene hits Manhattan this weekend, certain neighborhoods are at risk for serious flooding from the storm surge.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called for the evacuation of some of those areas, which have been divided into three zones based on flooding risk.

The area most at risk, called Zone A in the city's hurricane evacuation plan, includes Battery Park City, much of the Financial District, and parts of Chinatown and the East Village, but also extends up to Hell's Kitchen and Murray Hill along Manhattan's riverfronts. 

Residents in the following areas have been asked to seek higher ground: Battery Park City, Tribeca from Greenwich Street to the Hudson River, the Financial District from Beaver Street to the harbor and from Pearl Street to the East River, Chinatown from Cherry Street to the East River, and on the Lower East Side from Baruch Drive in the Baruch Houses to the river.

In the East Village, Zone A extends to Avenue D from East 4th Street to East 8th Street.  From there, it extends to Avenue B up to 14th Street.

From there, the zone extends into Stuyvesant Town, from Avenue C to the East River, and even parts of Gramercy and Murray Hill, from East 20th Street to East 37th Street from First Avenue to the river.

On the west side, everything west of 11th Avenue is in the riskiest flood zone between Tribeca and Chelsea. There, Zone A extends from the Hudson River to 10th Avenue, between West 20th Street to West 26th Street, and from the river to 11th Avenue between West 26th Street to West 41st Street.

From there, the zone covers the area west of the West Side Highway between West 41st and West 72nd Streets.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged residents of Zone A Thursday to seek shelter with friends and relatives who live on higher ground. For those who have nowhere to go, the city has shelters set up at certain points in Manhattan that will be open beginning at 4 p.m. Friday.

Those evacuation shelters are: Seward Park High School, at 350 Grand St.; Baruch College on East 23rd Street and Lexington Avenue; the High School of Graphic Communication Arts, on West 49th Street, between Ninth and 10th avenues; John Jay College at 10th Avenue and West 59th Street; Hunter College, at Park Avenue and East 68th Street; Brandeis High School on West 84th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues; IS 118, at Manhattan Avenue and West 105th Street; PS 171, on East 103rd between Fifth and Madison avenues; IS 88, between Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. and Fredrick Douglass Blvd.; Bread and Roses High School, at Edgecombe Avenue and West 136th Street; City College, at Amsterdam Avenue and West 138th Street; IS 90, at Jumel Place and West 168th Street; and at George Washington High School, between Audobon and Amsterdam avenues at West 193rd Street.

From there, evacuees will either be assigned to that shelter or taken to another shelter.

For additional information on evacuation zones and which shelter you should head to, visit www.nyc.gov/hurricanezones or call 311. 

The city encourages residents in evacuation zones to maintain a "Go Bag" of emergency supplies that they can grab at a moment's notice to flee their homes.

According to the city, the go bag should contain copies of important documents (such as passports, copies of photo IDs and proofs of address kept in a plastic bag), an extra set of car and/or house keys, copies of credit/ATM cards and up to $100 cash in small bills, bottled water and energy bars, flashlights, essential medical information, battery operated AM/FM radio, contact information for friends and relatives, a regional map, first aid kit and child care or other special supplies.

For residents who do not live in an evacuation zone, the city recommends maintaining an Emergency Supply Kit to help ride out the storm at home.

The kit should contain: one gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable canned food, can opener, flashlight, first aid kit, battery-operated radio with extra batteries, whistle, iodine tablets, personal hygiene products, battery-operated phone, and child care supplies or other special items. 

Residents with pets should either send them to stay with friends or relatives who live outside the evacuation zone, or otherwise prepare an evacuation kit for them that includes extra food, leashes, muzzles and proof of shots.

Even residents who live outside the evacuation zone are urged to take precaution.

Those living in skyscrapers were asked to be prepared to take shelter below the 10th floor of the buildings.

For additional information about evacuation procedures, the city's full hurricane evacuation plan can be found on www.nyc.gov