Have a "go bag" prepared in you live in a evacuation zone. Credit: Office of Emergency Management
Hundreds of New Yorkers, believing the warnings were exaggerated, chose not to evacuate despite the city's orders before Superstorm Sandy.
"People — some people — made a decision that they weren't going to go, and we want to get that number down to absolutely as low as possible," said Cas Holloway, deputy mayor for operations.
Of those told to leave their homes, 63 percent ignored the orders, according to a post-Sandy survey.
"Part of that may have been the effect of (Hurricane) Irene," said Joseph Bruno, commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management, citing the 2011 storm that had little discernible effect on the city.
"People's memories are relatively short," Bruno added.
He and other officials hope that Sandy lingers on the minds of all New Yorkers when the next storm hits.
Since Sandy, the ABC evacuation zones have been updated to more targeted numbered zones, 1 to 6. Three million New Yorkers now live in the zones.
"The effect of Sandy should make people much more mindful of what the possibilities are," Bruno said.
How to prepare for the next storm:
Create a disaster plan with people in your household.