Panic in the streets? There’s an app for that

During the Cold War, the city built a flurry of fallout shelters, and kids learned to duck-and-cover.  Today’s disaster preparedness is all about packing a “go bag” — an easy to grab backpack with water, food, flashlight, copies of important documents, etc. — and has taken on a decidedly more high-tech feel with city agencies seizing social media to encourage planning for emergencies.  

Even technology may not convince New Yorkers.

“Americans have never gotten into personal preparedness. We’re into the drama of the response,” said Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Stocking up on food and water has never held much interest, he said, not even during the Cold War when only 2 percent of Americans built their own shelters.

The city’s Office of Emergency Management’s “My Meeting Place” app launched last month mined municipal data to come up with easily recognizable public places that families could text each other as possible meet-up spots should something happen. So far, only 700 New Yorkers have used the mobile phone application, according to OEM officials.

Though experts have yet to find the “ticket” to “convince people they need to take their own responsibility for a major disaster,” Redlener said, “I don’t think we should give up because it is really important.” People erroneously believe that help would be on the way hours after calling 911 during a major disaster, when, in fact, it could be “days to never,” he said.

Evacuation plans

The city maintains a network of 65 evacuation centers — which you can find on the OEM’s website by checking the “Hurricane Zone Finder” — to help dispatch people to its 509 shelters in the event of a major hurricane storm surge.  Researchers from Columbia/NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies believe a rising sea level by the 2050s, combined with a Category 3 hurricane, could leave much of the city underwater. OEM officials estimate 2.3-million New Yorkers live in storm-surge zones in worst-case scenarios.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn girl's death ruled a homicide

The New York City Medical Examiner has ruled the death of a Brooklyn toddler a homicide. Jeida Torres, 3, was found bruised and unresponsive Saturday…

Local

New York City continues to prepare for Ebola…

New York City continues to prepare for the possibility of Ebola. There have been numerous scares, but no confirmed cases. Representatives from about 150 unions…

Local

NYPD nabs alleged serial bank robber

  The NYPD has arrested a man they say is responsible for multiple Manhattan bank robberies this month. Police have arrested a Brooklyn man they…

National

A look into the minds of Tsarnaev's fan…

While thousands of supporters insist their loyalty is due to a steadfast belief that Dzhokhar "Jahar" Tsarnaev's is innocent, others, mainly young women, come dangerously close to an unhealthy infatuation…

Arts

3 Parody plays lampoon your childhood, adulthood and…

Whether you loved the source material or you're going in blind, these parody plays have something for every audience member. We rate three of NYC's hottest satirical shows.

Gossip

Who has more power: Harry Styles or Amal…

Amal Clooney comes in fourth on The Evening Standard's Most Influential Londoners list.

Music

#AskPaul McCartney reveals his love of American pop…

For an Englishman, Paul McCartney's pop culture tastes would fit right in stateside. The former Beatle (@PaulMcCartney) revealed that he has a real thing for…

Television

Bethenny Frankel will be returning to 'Real Housewives…

Bethenny Frankel will officially be returning to the show that made her a star. She'll be on the seventh season of Bravo's "Real Housewives of New York City."

NFL

Breno Giacomini: Media blowing up Golden Tate-Percy Harvin…

According to Breno Giacomini, the fight between Golden Tate and Percy Harvin during Super Bowl week was over by the time the lineman turned around.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

Parenting

New news about Kate Middleton's pregnancy

The Palace released a statement about Kate Middleton's pregnancy.

Parenting

Cool book for kids: 'The Princess In Black'

"The Princess In Black" will change the way girls view princesses.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…

Wellbeing

Health News: 5K for lung cancer, free yoga,…

Get some fresh air to benefit lung cancer research On Friday, the first-ever Brooklyn Free to Breathe Run/Walk will take place Oct. 26 at Cadman Plaza…