Register to receive Notify NYC messages beginning Tuesday, December 4.
On Tuesday, December 4th, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the launch of Notify NYC, an emergency notification system that will distribute information via email, text messages, and reverse-911 calls to individuals who sign up to receive alerts in Lower Manhattan and three other communities in the city.
The alerts will pertain to significant emergency events in Lower Manhattan, the northeast Bronx, the Far Rockaways, and Southwest Staten Island. The pilots in Lower Manhattan and the Far Rockaways will test email and text messaging technologies, while those in the Bronx and Staten Island will evaluate email alerts and reverse-911 calls. The pilot programs are designed to determine whether the technologies could be deployed citywide.
The city began accepting email addresses and telephone numbers for use in the Notify NYC pilot programs on December 4th. Individuals interested in participating can sign up through www.nyc.gov. The city will begin sending alerts on Monday, December 10th.
"I have always believed that the public deserves the swiftest access to information its government can accurately provide during emergencies," Bloomberg said in a statement announcing the launch. "Notify NYC will give New Yorkers in the pilot communities access to information while serving as a proving ground for different technologies that could one day benefit the entire city," he continued.
The development of the Notify NYC program has been led by Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler and has involved collaboration between the Office of Emergency Management (OEM); the Department of Information, Technology, and Telecommunications (DOITT); the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit (CAU); and the city's public safety, health, and housing agencies, including Police (NYPD), Fire (FDNY), Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Environmental Protection (DEP), Sanitation (DSNY), Transportation (DOT), Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and Buildings (DOB).
Though emergency alerts will be limited to events that impact the four pilot communities, anyone can sign up for the service. The information collected will never be used for any purpose other than to deliver messages through the Notify NYC program.
The program will test two types of messages, "alerts" that will provide time-sensitive information and instructions about an emergency and "notifications" that will serve as informational advisories. A coastal storm approaching the city would trigger an alert, for example, while a utility outage that doesn't require specific action would trigger a notification. OEM's Watch Command will draft the messages.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who convened meetings with Community Board 1, OEM, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to advocate for an emergency notification program, was pleased with the launch of the program. "In the wake of 9/11, the Deutsche Bank fire and the flood at 90 West Street, an effective and reliable notification system is vitally needed to notify the Lower Manhattan community of potential emergencies," he said in a statement.
Community Board 1 Chairperson Julie Menin also praised the launch. "I am thrilled that the mayor and the administration have listened to our concerns and have devised a community notification program which will be piloted in our community," she stated.
Notify NYC for Lower Manhattan will cover each of the downtown neighborhoods that are part of Community Board 1, including Battery Park City, the Civic Center, the Financial District, and Tribeca.
To learn more about Notify NYC or to sign up, please click here.