FAQ

General

Registration

Messages

My Preferences

Mobile Application

General

What is Notify NYC?

Notify NYC is the City of New York’s official source for information about emergency events and important City services.

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Registration

How do I register for Notify NYC?

You can register for Notify NYC online or by calling 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115).

  • Register online by clicking the “Enroll” tab on the top of this page. You will be asked for basic contact and location information so messages can be tailored to your area of interest and delivered by the methods you select, such as email, phone, or SMS/text. You must then check your email inbox for a confirmation email from Notify NYC and follow the instructions to finalize your enrollment.
  • Register by phone if you do not have an email address, call 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115) and ask to register for Notify NYC. You will then be connected to an automated registration system that will guide you through the registration.
  • Download the mobile app by visiting www.nyc.gov/notifynycapp.
  • Follow us on Twitterclicking here and selecting “Follow” on the top right-hand side of our page. Every Notify NYC message is available by following @NotifyNYC. To ensure you are receiving our most critical Tweets, select the bell symbol on Notify NYC’s Twitter account to enable Twitter Alerts.

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Why am I receiving calls from Notify NYC if I never enrolled?

You may receive voice messages if your phone number was previously enrolled with Notify NYC and never deactivated. To remove your phone number from Notify NYC, call 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115) and report to them that you want your phone number removed. You may also fill out a Technical Reporting Form.

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Why am I not receiving messages after signing up for Notify NYC?

After an account is created, you must confirm the account before you are able to receive messages. If you registered online, you should have received an email asking you to confirm your account. If you no longer have your confirmation email, go to www.nyc.gov/notifynyc, select “My Account,” and enter your username and your password. The system will respond that your account is not yet confirmed and will automatically send you a new confirmation email. If you forget your password and have not yet confirmed your account, you must contact Notify NYC at notifynyc@oem.nyc.gov.

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Why haven’t I received a confirmation email from Notify NYC?

Registrants may find their confirmation codes in their spam or junk mail folders. Be sure to add Notify NYC’s email address (notifynyc@oem.nyc.gov) to your approved sender list.

If you no longer have your confirmation email, go towww.nyc.gov/notifynyc, select “My Account,” and enter your username and password. The system will respond that your account is not yet confirmed and will automatically send you a new confirmation email. If you forget your password and have not yet confirmed your account you must contact Notify NYC notifynyc@oem.nyc.gov.

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Can I register for Notify NYC if I don’t live or work in New York City?

Yes. The only thing needed to sign up for Notify NYC is valid cross streets or a valid street address within the City of New York that you wish to receive notifications about. You do not need to live or work at the address provided.

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How can I register to receive messages via RSS feed?

Notify NYC messages are available through RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feed. Every Notify NYC message will be posted to the Notify NYC website and available for delivery to your computer or RSS reader.

An RSS reader will be necessary to ingest this feed. Most commonly used web browsers or major websites such as Yahoo, feedly, and MSN have RSS readers. Once you have identified your RSS reader, follow the hyperlink: RSS Feed.

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During registration, I received an “Application Error” message. Why?

From time to time an “Application Error” message may be received. Please log out of the Notify NYC, close your browser, and then return to the website.

If this does not resolve the issue, please “Report a Problem” by following this hyperlink: Technical Reporting Form..

Please include your username, the browser you are using (i.e., Safari, Internet Explorer, etc…), and the time that you experienced the application error. We will work to resolve the issue immediately.

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Messages

Who is sending the notifications?

New York City Emergency Management has a 24/7 Emergency Operations Center called Watch Command, which monitors all emergency activity in New York City through radio transmissions, 911 dispatches, email alerts, and through other channels. The Watch Command team works with various federal, state and local agencies to provide emergency assistance during large scale incidents. When an emergency has the potential to affect a significant number of New Yorkers, the on-duty Public Warning Specialist working in Watch Command will issue a Notify NYC notification to the public.

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When will messages be sent?

Messages are sent as soon as possible after the confirmation of an unplanned emergency or significant event, which may occur at any time of day or night. For planned events, such as a parade or a large scale exercise, prescheduled messages are sent during daytime hours.

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What types of messages can I expect to receive?

You will receive messages about emergencies and important events in the areas you indicated were important to you. Subscribers can sign up for the following messages:

  • Emergency Alerts: Issued only for critical incidents involving likely or actual threats to the safety of you or others in your area, and often contain instructions on how to reduce the likelihood and/or severity of danger. Examples include shelter-in-place orders, mandatory evacuation instructions (as during Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy), and severe weather warnings (tornado, flash flood, etc.) which may be accompanied by a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) issued by the National Weather Service. Missing person alerts are also included the Emergency Alert group. Notify NYC subscribers are automatically registered for Emergency Alerts. All other message types are optional.
  • Notify NYC is mandated by law to issue the following types of missing person alerts to all subscribers and therefore these messages cannot be made:

    • AMBER Alert: issued by the National Center for Missing and Exploited children only for the confirmed abduction of a child who may be in danger and either lives in or is expected to travel to the NYC Area.
    • Silver Alert: issued by the NYPD for the disappearance of an at-risk senior who may suffer from a cognitive disability or be in need of medical attention and is missing from the NYC area.
    • Missing Child/College Student Alert: issued by the New York State Police for a missing child (under 21 years of age) or a college student (of any age) that is deemed to be endangered and is missing from or believed to be traveling to the New York City area, but the case does not meet AMBER Alert activation criteria. A missing child or college student can be at serious risk of bodily harm or death without an abduction occurring. For example, children with Down syndrome, autism, or other medical conditions can be at an extreme safety risk if they go missing.
    • Missing Senior Notification: issued by the NYPD for the disappearance of an at-risk senior from the New York City area.
    • Missing Vulnerable Adult Alert: issued by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services for the disappearance of an at-risk adult of any age who is missing from the New York City area.

    Notify NYC tries in all cases to include a photo, physical descriptions, and any other descriptive info available. Notify NYC subscribers can have a direct impact on the outcome of these cases simply by reviewing message content, and calling 911 if you believe you’ve seen a missing person.

    One of my friends or family members is missing. Who do I contact to initiate an AMBER or Silver Alert?

    Notify NYC is unable to accept requests for the issuance of AMBER, Missing Child/College Students, Missing Senior or Silver Alerts directly from the public. If you believe that someone you know is in danger or missing, please call 911.

  • Significant Events: Issued for important incidents that may have significant impacts to the area but are less severe and/or less urgent than Emergency Alerts. This group includes messages about large fires, police activity, power outages, structural incidents, travel advisories, and more. These messages may also offer additional information such as preparedness tips, health and safety information, and links to other websites where more information can be found.
  • Planned Events: Issued in advance of preplanned activity that will likely cause local disruptions and/or alarm the public. This includes messages about drills and exercises by emergency personnel, movie and television filming’s, fireworks, ceremonial gunfire, scheduled demolitions, and planned flyovers. Whenever possible, these messages will be issued approximately 24 hours in advance of the planned event. These messages are issued through the Significant Event message group.
  • Mass Transit Disruptions: Issued for planned or unplanned disruptions to mass transit systems within the five boroughs of NYC and regional mass transit system that affect NYC. This includes the MTA subway, bus, ferry service, NJ Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro North, Amtrak, regional airports, etc. Determination of incident severity is at the discretion of the Public Warning Specialist and is based, in part, upon the location, size, and duration of actual or anticipated service disruptions, as well as time of day, and approximate number of customers impacted (e.g. a suspension of an entire subway line between several boroughs, during AM or PM rush hour).
  • Major Traffic Disruptions: Issued for planned or unplanned closures or significant traffic delays on major roadways, bridges, and/or tunnels in one or several boroughs of NYC. Determination of incident severity is at the discretion of the on-duty Public Warning Specialist, and is based, in part, upon the location, size and duration of actual or anticipated traffic impacts, as well as time of day and approximate number of drivers impacted (e.g. an extended closure of a bridge during the AM or PM rush hour).
  • Public Health: Issued for events with the potential to impact public health. Examples include Air Quality Health Advisories (issued by the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation), and planned mosquito sprayings by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

  • Schools Notification: Issued when a NYC public school is impacted by an incident causing changes to normal school dismissal times or locations. This includes public schools being closed and/or after-school activities being canceled due to inclement weather, and instances when a building condition causes students to be relocated from one public school to another. These messages provide the names and addresses of all impacted facilities, dismissal times and locations, and any other relevant information.
  • Note: To receive school notifications, you will need to provide either the specific address or the cross streets of the school you with to be notified about. Notify NYC subscribers are able to input up to five different addresses, so you may add a home address, a work address, multiple school addresses, and/or any other addresses you may be interested in. If you do not know the school’s address, you can go visit the Department of Education’s webpage, and use the “Find a School” tool.

  • Waterbody Advisories: Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) happen when a wastewater treatment plant or parts of the sewer overflow. This usually occurs when there’s a big rain event or snowstorm. When this occurs, wastewater is sent into our waterways without being treated. When signing up for a particular waterbody, Notify NYC subscribers will be notified when a CSO event has occurred in that area during the last 24 hours.
  • Emergency Parking Suspension: Alternate side regulations may change because of inclement weather or emergencies. The NYC Department of Transportation and Department of Sanitation carefully consult weather reports before and during snowfalls in order to determine whether a suspension is necessary. As weather patterns can change quickly, this decision must sometimes be made late in the day. After a snow event, alternate side parking regulations will be restored so that plows can begin removing snow and ice from curbside lanes.
  • Beach Notifications: : issued when the NYC Department of Health or the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation issue an advisory or close a beach due to safety and/or health concerns. The NYC Department of Health is responsible for monitoring beach conditions, which includes monitoring water quality to ensure it meets safety standards and inspecting beach facilities to ensure they meet NYC and NY State health codes. An advisory means that swimming or wading is not recommended at the affected beach. A closure means that swimming or wading is not permitted at the affected beach. For more information about beach status updates, please visit:
    • NYC Department of Health by texting BEACH to 877-877, calling 311(TTY: 212-504-4115), or visiting the Department of Health’s beach webpage.
    • NYC Department of Parks & Recreation by calling 3-1-1 or by visiting their webpage.

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I see Notify NYC messages on websites, blogs, and re-tweeted on Twitter. Should I trust these messages?

Notify NYC is the official source for messages about emergency information and city services. When a website or blog takes a Notify NYC message and reposts it, they are making the message available to a broader audience; however, this is not the official source of information. There have been cases of Notify NYC messages being incorrectly re-tweeted or posted.

For this reason, please ensure you are registered with Notify NYC to receive official messages.

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Why are messages different depending on the device I use?

Each mode of communication has different character limitations. Messages received by phone and email can be longer than text and Twitter messages. If a long message is sent by text, the message gets broken down into separate messages that are not guaranteed by carriers to be received in the correct order.

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How reliable is the delivery of messages from Notify NYC?

While every effort has been made to ensure reliability of the systems the City uses, delivery of Notify NYC services is heavily dependent on external networks and providers outside the City’s control. The City is actively performing outreach with service providers to make sure accurate messages get to you in a timely manner. However, below are some examples of service limitations.

Email: While email is often the fastest way to deliver information, your ability to receive emails may be disrupted if the networks are damaged or are operating at maximum capacity.

Text Messages: Wireless data networks can also be compromised by outages and high traffic volumes. Additionally, most wireless carriers do not guarantee the timely delivery of text messages, nor do they guarantee text messages will be received at all. Contact your wireless service provider or review your contract to see how these policies might affect your ability to receive text messages from Notify NYC.

Telephone: This method sends pre-recorded messages to your phone, but it may be disrupted if your wired or wireless carrier is experiencing network congestion, outages, or poor cellular reception.

Website: The City’s website has been designed to handle high volumes of users with little or no effect on performance. However, you may not be able to access certain websites if your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is experiencing outages.

RSS: The RSS is a passive means to get information to registrants. While all notifications are posted, this service may lag behind email and text messages.

Twitter: Tweets may also be delayed based on Twitter’s user volume.

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What are these unsolicited “Emergency Alerts” I occasionally receive on my cell phone? Why are they accompanied by loud sounds?

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are issued by local, state, and/or federal officials for significant emergencies in your area. They are broadcast from cellphone towers near an emergency, and received on all cell phones that are equipped with the proper software. This is a federally mandated alert communication system, not necessarily sent by Notify NYC. Therefore, non-Notify NYC subscribers will still receive them. Examples include severe weather alerts, issued by the National Weather Service (NWS), and AMBER Alerts, issued by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) for confirmed child abductions. For more information, visit: FEMA's website.

Notify NYC will issue a WEA when a city agency or the Mayor requests an alert (i.e. when the Mayor issues a travel ban due to hazardous weather conditions).

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My Preferences

How do I update my account information after I register?

There are two ways to update your account information:

  • If you enrolled online, you can update your account information by visiting www.nyc.gov/notifynyc and selecting “My Account”. After clicking on “My Account” you will be asked to enter your username (email address) and password to access your account.
  • If you enrolled over the phone using the automated system, you may call 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115) to update your account information.

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How do I reset my password?

  • Go to the Notify NYC home page: www.nyc.gov/notifynyc
  • Click “My Account” from the top navigation bar.
  • Enter your email address in the “Email” field.
  • Click “Forgot your password?”
  • A message will be displayed saying “An email has been sent to you containing your temporary password. Follow the link included in this email and use the temporary password to log into Notify NYC.” Note: this email may take up to two hours to be received. Check your spam/junk folders if you do not receive the email in your inbox.
  • You will be prompted to change your password after you log in.
  • You will receive a message that your password has been changed and a link to go back into your account.

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Why is the password I want to use not being accepted?

Be sure your password:

  • Is eight characters or more
  • Includes a number or special character
  • Includes a letter
  • Is not your email address or first or last name
  • Does not include the word “password”

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How do I stop receiving messages through a communication channel (i.e. voice messages, SMS messages, instant messages, BlackBerry PIN, emails, etc.)?

You can modify your account by logging into www.nyc.gov/notifynyc.

To edit your account settings:

  • Click on “My Account” in the top navigation bar
  • Enter your email and password and click “Login”
  • The “Contact Points” page should be displayed. Modify any relevant account settings including adding addresses or changing notification types by using the green “+” or red “-“ icons.
  • You can also add up to five telephone numbers, and up to a total of five text based contact types such as email addresses, fax numbers, BlackBerry PIN, SMS/text-enabled telephone numbers, Instant Messenger (IM) screen names.

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How do I opt out of Notify NYC?

You can modify your account by logging into www.nyc.gov/notifynyc.

To completely opt out of Notify NYC:

  • Click on “My Account” in the top navigation bar.
  • Enter your email and password and click “Login.”
  • On the “Contact Points: Contact Points” page, navigate to “Manage Services” on the right hand side of the page and click the green “+” sign next to “OPT OUT OF NOTIFY NYC”
  • You are now on the “Manage Services: Opt Out of Notify NYC” page. Click or tap the checkbox “I would like to Opt Out of Notify NYC” and then click or tap the “Save” button.
  • Your account is now turned off and you will stop receiving notifications in 24 hours. Your account will be deleted after 180 days, and you will no longer be able to log into this account.
  • If you attempt to re-enroll within 180 days, you will not be allowed. You must sign back into Notify NYC using your password and follow the above steps to uncheck the “Opt Out” box in step four above.

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I’m traveling, so how do I suspend my account?

You can modify your account by logging into www.nyc.gov/notifynyc.

To temporarily suspend your account:

  • Click on “My Account” in the top navigation bar.
  • Enter your email and password and click “Login”.
  • On the “Contact Points: Contact Points” page, navigate to "Manage Services" on the right hand side of the page and click the green "+" sign next to "SUSPEND SERVICE".
  • You are now on the "Manage Services: Set a time not to receive notifications" page. Enter the dates you would like to your services to be suspend from. The maximum duration to suspend service is six months.
  • Your account is now suspended for the time period you have selected, and you will not receive notifications. At any time, you can log in and remove your vacation settings.

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How many locations can I add to my account?

You can add up to five city addresses to your account. You can also add, remove, and edit these locations through by navigating to www.nyc.gov/notifynyc and signing into your account by clicking on "My Account" on the top navigation bar.

After you log in, you will be on the "Contact Points Page", navigate to the right hand section and under "Notification Addresses."

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How many devices can I add to my account?

  • Phone: You can add up to five phone lines for voice messages. It is not required that you add a phone number.
  • You may enter up to a total of five text contacts (Email Addresses, SMS, Fax, BlackBerry PIN, Instant Messenger) for this account.

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Does Notify NYC offer any message formats for those with disabilities or access needs?

Yes. Notify NYC now offers subscribers a sign language video component via a link at the bottom of most of Notify NYC messages.

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Does Notify NYC offer messages in any languages other than English?

Yes. Notify NYC currently offers most messages in 14 languages including ASL and English.

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Mobile Application

What is the Notify NYC app?

The Notify NYC mobile app provides Android and iPhone users with a convenient way to access emergency notifications from their mobile device. It is an easy-to-use app that provides real-time emergency notifications about incidents and events in the user’s immediate area and throughout New York City based on selected preferences.

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What is the difference between subscribing to alerts on the Notify NYC website and downloading the mobile app?

When you subscribe through the Notify NYC website, you are required to receive notifications based on an address or intersection. The alerts you receive will only be those that affect the addresses (you may add up to five) that you registered for, whether or not you are actually located there at the time of the incident.

When you download the Notify NYC mobile application, an address or intersection is not required. Instead, the mobile application uses geographical technology to send you notifications based on your current location. If you choose, you may also enter up to five addresses of interest on the mobile app in addition to receiving alerts regarding incidents occurring around you. For example, if you live in Queens but are visiting Times Square, you have the option to receive notifications about your home in Queens and your current location in Manhattan, all at once.

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Is my device supported?

The Notify NYC mobile app is currently supported on Android devices with version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher, and on iPhones with iOS version 9.1 or higher.

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Is the mobile app cost money? Are there in-app purchases?

The Notify NYC mobile app is completely free to use (but it will consume a small amount of your data in order to receive messages and communicate with the server when a Wi-Fi connection is not available). We will never ask you for payment information. There are no in-app purchases.

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Does this app follow me/know my location?

This app uses geo-location technology to determine a device’s approximate location in order to send relevant messages. No personal identifying information is gathered; this information is registered only as an anonymous device. The City does not have access to your name, mobile phone number, phone contacts, or saved addresses.

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How can I download the Notify NYC mobile app?

Download the mobile app by visiting www.nyc.gov/notifynycapp.

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Notify NYC is brought to you by the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DoITT).

Contact Notify NYC: Call 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115) or email notifynyc@oem.nyc.gov