Create Emergency Plans


Legislation at a Glance

28: Create Emergency Plans


Local Law 98 of 2013


The multiday loss of power and extreme flooding from Superstorm Sandy exceeded most planning scenarios. As a result, few buildings had plans to manage such emergencies. This law requires the city to develop emergency preparedness information and instructions for property owners, and ensure that buildings provide tenants with the relevant information.

New Requirements or Changes

Effective: May 18, 2014

New Section 30-113 of the NYC Administrative Code

This law directs the Office of Emergency Management to coordinate with other agencies (including Department of Buildings, Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and the Fire Department) to develop guidelines for residential and commercial buildings on dealing with weather emergencies and extended utility outages. These guidelines are to include:

  • How to determine the property's flood zone and evacuation zone;
  • Protective measures that the owner may provide or install to protect against flooding;
  • Advice on securing window air conditioning units, patio furniture flower boxes, windows, doors and other loose items during a storm or natural disaster;
  • Advice for buildings in flood zones on the use of electrical and mechanical equipment, such as elevators and boilers, when there is a flood risk;
  • The options available to a property owner to rent equipment, such as pumps and generators after a weather event or extended utility outage;
  • The methods that property owners can use to communicate with tenants during and after a weather event or extended utility outage; and
  • The contact information for relevant city agencies to determine evacuation guidelines or learn other suggestions on how to protect persons and property during a weather emergency, or an extended utility outage.

New Section 27-2051.1 of the NYC Administrative Code

This law directs the owners of residential buildings to post large signs in the common areas with information about:

  • Whether the building is located in a hurricane evacuation zone and, if so, which zone it is in;
  • The address of the nearest designated evacuation center;
  • When a person should contact 911 and 311 during a weather event or an extended utility outage;  
  • Whether, during an extended utility outage, the building will provide services such as potable water, egress lighting, fire protection, elevators, charging locations for cellular telephones, domestic hot water, or heating and cooling;  
  • Contact information for building personnel in the event of an emergency;
  • Instructions on removing furniture from rooftops and balconies during high wind events; and
  • For buildings that utilize pumps, instructions on reducing water consumption during extended power outages.

These temporary signs are to be posted prior to the expected arrival of a weather emergency or natural disaster, or after the owner is informed of a utility outage that is expected to last over 24 hours. The signs must follow a template published by the city and are to be removed after the event has passed.


The requirement to post temporary signs is part of the Housing Maintenance Code and may be enforced in the same manner as its other provisions by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Any enforcement of the requirements that the Office of Emergency Management develops would occur through City Council oversight hearings; it is not a requirement for building owners.