In the last community council meeting before the summer on Tuesday evening, the Manhattan CERT team gave their presentation about the new hurricane evacuation zone maps, which were released earlier that day. Deputy Chief of the Manhattan CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), Anthony Solomita, was at the meeting to explain the significance of the new zones.
As T&V initially reported last week, the city Office of Emergency Management has changed the zones from letter designations to numbers and instead of three zones as in the past maps, there are now six, with Zone 1 being the most likely to be impacted and Zone 6 the least.
Solomita said that this decision will give the city more flexibility to decide on evacuations and the new zones were based on new storm surge data, as well as the risk of a storm surge impact. There are 600,000 more people in evacuation zones compared to in the previous maps, which increases the total number of people in evacuation zones to three million.
To find a hurricane zone based on a specific address, the OEM's map can be accessed at nyc.gov/hurricanezones.
Solomita noted that while hurricane season does officially start in June and run through November, New York is most vulnerable to major storms from August to October and the key thing in the event of a major storm is to be prepared. "You don't want to wait until it's raining to make a plan," he said. "It's important that you know what to do. If you don't leave, then people like me will have to come get you. Be prepared for the next storm because there certainly will be one."
In other events at the meeting, Police Officer Brian McCarthy was awarded Cop of the Month for arresting a man responsible for mugging a woman and assaulting another man on May 5. McCarthy approached the man after seeing him casing cars near East 20th Street and Third Avenue and after chasing him, discovered that he still had the woman's property on him.
Executive Officer Frank Sorenson was filling in for Deputy Inspector Ehrenberg at the meeting and provided the crime roundup for the month. Sorenson said that although the first five months of the year have been tough in for the precinct, crime was down 4.5 percent in the last month. Robberies are down 39 percent for the month and burglaries are down 26 percent. He said that felony assaults have increased but noted that mostly incidents with patients at Bellevue contribute to this increase.
This article has been edited from its original version.