New York City Releases Blueprint For Combatting Extreme Weather

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City has released The New Normal: Combatting Storm-Related Extreme Weather in New York City – a blueprint to combat extreme weather and protect New Yorkers from future storms, such as Hurricane Ida. The report was created by the city’s Extreme Weather Response Task Force.

“Extreme weather is more common than ever, and more severe than ever. Business as usual is over. Keeping New Yorkers safe means profoundly changing the way we prepare for – and react to – this new normal,” said the mayor. “This new report charts a path forward for investing in vulnerable neighborhoods, shoring up our infrastructure, warning communities ahead of major weather events, and better tracking storms before they arrive. I’m proud to share it with New Yorkers, and I look forward to forging a safer and more resilient city.”

“The New Normal” outlines new strategies to:

  • educate, train, and acclimate New Yorkers to this new reality;
  • increase planning for the worst-case scenario in every instance;
  • accelerate upgrades to storm modeling, tracking, and alert systems;
  • broaden protection for inland communities;
  • protect basement and cellar occupants;
  • prioritize investments in low-income neighborhoods, immigrant communities, and communities of color;
  • re-imagine the sewage and drainage system, and rapidly increase green infrastructure and cloudburst solutions; and,
  • call on support from the state and federal government.

The City plans to support the report’s recommendations with $2.1 billion in new funding from the Department of Environmental Protection.

Along with the report, the Mayor also announced the creation of New York City’s first “Rainboots on the Ground” program, which will distribute educational information on evacuation procedures to basement apartment residents and vulnerable neighborhoods. A new Extreme Weather Coordinator position will also be created in City Hall. The position will work closely with New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM) and other agencies to lead and organize extreme weather response. 

“New Yorkers have seen the effects of extreme weather on their communities, and they know it’s happening more frequently than ever before. With this blueprint, their City will be as tough, prepared, and resilient as they are,” said Deputy Mayor for Administration Emma Wolfe. “Thanks to targeted investments and better storm tracking, New York City will be more prepared than ever to keep the city safe from extreme weather.”