Yesterday, New York City officials released final updates to the city’s hurricane evacuation zones that include an additional 600,000 residents who were not part of the former zoning map. The new system replaces Zones A, B and C, with Zones 1 through 6, and is based on coastal flood risk resulting from storm surges. With the new system in place, the city has more flexibility in targeting areas to evacuate in advance of a predicted storm—helping families that live in the expanded zone areas to prepare for emergencies and stay safe.

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“Over the past six months, we have made remarkable strides in the City’s recovery from Hurricane Sandy, and as part of our review of the Administration’s efforts before and after the storm, we have updated and expanded the hurricane evacuation zones that are part of the City’s comprehensive Coastal Storm Plan,” said Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway yesterday. “The new zones incorporate the best-available data and will help the City to more effectively communicate to those most at risk depending on the characteristics of a particular storm. New Yorkers should go to or call 311 to find out if their homes or businesses fall within the boundaries of a new city hurricane evacuation zone.”

Residents and businesses living in one of the six flood zones will receive the Office of Emergency Management’s Ready New York Hurricane Guide in late June—available in 11 languages and also available on the website. The city also offers a mobile browser friendly Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder and uses GPS to determine the nearest hurricane evacuation center.

The new evacuation zones now include the residents of 37 percent of New Yorkers, an additional 26 New York City Housing Authority developments (a total of 175), four additional hospitals (total of 25) and nine additional nursing homes (total of 69). Mandatory evacuations have only been issued twice in New York City’s History, during Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.