OEM TIP OF THE WEEK: SHELTER IN PLACE IN A SAFE SPACE

On August 8, 2007, a tornado ripped through Brooklyn uprooting trees and causing severe damage to buildings. This week, OEM reminds New Yorkers to find a safe spot in a basement or a small interior room or hallway with no windows to shelter in place during a disaster. Some emergencies, like tornadoes, happen quickly and the best plan is to wait them out some place safe.

Tornadoes and NYC

Though generally associated with the central United States, tornadoes occasionally occur in New York City. On August 8, 2007, an EF2 tornado touched down in Brooklyn, tearing off roofs, wrecking sides of buildings, and snapping many trees in the Bay Ridge and Sunset Park neighborhoods. The tornado accompanied severe weather that plagued a larger section of New York City – other portions of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Flash flooding and high winds wreaked havoc on parts of the city. In response, the City opened a Disaster Recovery Center for affected residents to obtain recovery assistance.

In October 1985, an F1 tornado touched down in Queens, injuring six people. In August 1990, an F0 tornado struck Staten Island, injuring three people. A more intense F1 tornado struck Staten Island again in October 1995, causing some property damage, but no injuries. Most recently, an F0 tornado and a “gustnado” occurred in Staten Island’s Bullshead and Willowbrook areas on October 27, 2003. The F0 tornado was responsible for uprooting eight trees and causing minor property damage and the “gustnado” uprooted a 30-foot pine tree. There were no injuries.

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