Federal weather authorities joined city officials in Brooklyn Thursday, where they said though the upcoming hurricane season will likely be minimal, New Yorkers should be familiar with evacuation zones and emergency preparedness plans. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.
With the devastation from Hurricane Sandy still fresh in people's minds, many were happy to hear that forecasters are predicting a relatively calm season this year.
"People did suffer, small businesses, stuff like that," said one person.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is expecting up to 13 named tropical storms and only a handful of hurricanes. Scientists said warmer temperatures in the Pacific and cooler surface temperatures in the Atlantic will make it more difficult for storms to form.
"We've have been seeing a lot of very strong hurricane seasons since 1995. Twelve of the last 20 have been above normal," said Dr. Gerry Bell, lead hurricane season forecaster at the NOAA National Weather Service. "So the background within which this season is occurring is this overall more active pattern."
City officials said even though the prediction is low, New Yorkers should not let their guard down.
"The effects of Sandy make it clear why you must remain prepared," said Joseph Bruno, commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management. "We saw that. We saw what can happen to a city."
So the city and federal government are preparing to handle whatever comes our way. NOAA will use an experimental mapping tool to show the storm surge threat to different communities. Storm surges caused most of the damage during Hurricane Sandy, so the city will use that information to help determine if an evacuation is necessary.
Bruno said New Yorkers should know which evacuation zone they live in. OEM has launched a "Know Your Zone" campaign to educate residents.
"If you live in one of these six zones, you may be ordered by the mayor or a local official like me to evacuate for your own safety if a storm is approaching our city," he said. "If you are ordered to evacuate, it is important that you follow that guidance."
It's also important to know where to go and what to take ahead of time.