FAQ

General

Registration

Messages

My Preferences

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.

back to top

Registration

How do I register for Notify NYC?

You can register for Notify NYC on this website or by calling 311.

  • To register online click the “Enroll” link in the left hand menu on 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.
  • To register by phone if you do not have an email address, call 311 and ask to register for Notify NYC. You will then be connected to an automated registration system that will guide you through the registration.

back to top

Can I register for Notify NYC by phone?

To register by phone if you do not have an email address, call 311 and ask to register for Notify NYC. You will then be connected to an automated registration system that will guide you through the registration.

back to top

How do I sign up for school notifications with Notify NYC?

Notify NYC has always allowed you to register for school notifications, however now they are becoming more school specific. You’ll need the address for the school(s) or the cross street you want to receive notifications about. If you do not know your school’s address, you can go to http://schools.nyc.gov, and use their “Find a School” tool. Remember that the address and cross street you are providing is not your own.

back to top

Why am I receiving messages if I never enrolled in Notify NYC?

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 and report to them that you want your phone number removed. You may also go to the "contact" section on the top navigation bar and use the "Report a Technical Problem" link.

back to top

I signed up for Notify NYC, but why am I not getting messages?

After an account is created, you must confirm the account before you 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 www1.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 are attempting this procedure and have not confirmed your email, you cannot use the forgot password link. If you forget your password and have not yet confirmed your account, you must contact Notify NYC at notifynyc@oem.nyc.gov.

If your account is confirmed, remember that messages are sent based on the particular notification type and a selected area in the city, so not all registrants will receive notifications for every incident. Check the RSS feed on www1.nyc.gov/notifynyc to see if any notifications have been sent for your area and selected notification types.

You may also check your account to ensure your contact information is correct.

back to top

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

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

If you no longer have your confirmation email, go to www1.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 are attempting this procedure and have not confirmed your email, you cannot use the forgot password link. If you forget your password and have not yet confirmed your account you must contact Notify NYC notifynyc@oem.nyc.gov.

back to top

Can I register even if I don't live or work in New York City?

All you need are valid cross streets or a valid street address within the City of New York that you wish to receive notifications about.

back to top

How can I register to receive messages via RSS feed?

Notify NYC messages are available by 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 view 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: https://a858-nycnotify.nyc.gov/notifynyc/rss/notifynyc.aspx.

back to top

How can I register to receive messages via Twitter feed?

Every Notify NYC message is available via Twitter feed at http://www.twitter.com/notifynyc. or by following @NotifyNYC

For our most critical Twitter messages, be sure to also enable Twitter Alerts.

To stop following @NotifyNYC on your mobile device:
1. Set up your mobile phone to send a text message to 40404
2. Enter message: "OFF Notify NYC" (without the quotation marks)
3. Wait for text message from Twitter confirming that you are no longer following us.

back to top

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: https://a858-nycnotify.nyc.gov/NotifyNYC/Contact/Tech.aspx.

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.

back to top

Messages

Who is sending the notifications?

The New York City Office of Emergency Management operates a Watch Command team that monitors emergency activity throughout the city 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Watch Command monitors radio, computer, and 911 dispatches from the NYPD, and FDNY. Additionally, Watch Command monitors information feeds from regional emergency operations centers, the FAA, MTA, the Port Authority and many other federal, state, and local agencies for incidents that affect the city. When an emergency has the potential to affect a significant number of New Yorkers, Watch Command uses Notify NYC to inform the public.

back to top

When will messages be sent?

Messages are sent as soon as possible after the confirmation of an emergency or significant event, which may occur at any time of day or night. Other health, school and parking notifications are most frequently sent during the day.

back to top

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 Tornado Alerts, Mandatory Evacuation instructions (as during Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy), and alerts for missing persons in imminent danger of harm or death, such as AMBER Alerts* . Notify NYC subscribers are automatically registered for Emergency Alerts. All other message types are optional.

Significant Events: The most commonly issued message type, these provide information on the most broad range of incidents, including large fires, severe weather events, planned and unplanned roadway closures, major mass transit disruptions, power outages, low altitude aircraft flyovers, fireworks displays, structural collapses, and more. Additionally, these messages may offer suggestions, such as alternate routes to bypass road closures, websites where further information is available, or attached photos and/or maps where appropriate.

Major Mass Transit Disruptions: Planned or unplanned disruptions to regular NYC Subway, Bus, and/or regional rail service, causing significant transit service delays in one or several boroughs of NYC. Determination of incident severity is at the discretion of NYC OEM personnel, and 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: Planned or unplanned arterial roadway closures, causing significant traffic delays on major highways, bridges and/or tunnels in one or several boroughs of NYC. Determination of incident severity is at the discretion of NYC OEM personnel, and 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: Messages specifically regarding events with the potential to impact public health. Examples include Air Quality Health Advisories (issued by the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation), and mosquito spraying by the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Schools Notification: A school notification is issued when a NYC public school is impacted by an incident causing changes to normal school dismissal times or locations. These may include when students are relocated from one NYC public school to another due to a loss of heat or other building condition. These messages provide the names and addresses of all impacted facilities, dismissal times and locations, and any other all other relevant information.

Waterbody Advisories: Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) happen when a wastewater treatment plant or parts of the sewer get too full, usually when there’s a big rain event or snowstorm. When this occurs, wastewater is sent straight 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 during the last 24 hours.

Emergency Parking Suspension: Alternate side regulations may be changed because of inclement weather or emergencies. The Department of Transportation and the Department of Sanitation carefully consult weather reports before and during snowfalls in order to determine whether suspension is necessary. As weather patterns can change quickly, this decision must sometimes be made late in the day. After a snowfall, alternate side parking regulations will be restored so that plows can begin removing snow and ice from curbside lanes.

*Missing person notifications may be designated as Emergency Alerts if the missing person is in imminent danger, and local law enforcement deems that the public’s assistance can have a direct impact on the safe resolution of these incidents. The two most serious examples are:

AMBER Alerts: Issued for the confirmed abduction of a child.

Silver Alerts: Issued for missing seniors (over 65 years of age) in imminent danger due severe cognitive impairments and/or urgent need of medical care.

Other examples of missing persons notifications are:

Missing Senior Notification: Issued for missing seniors (over 65 years of age) that may not have known cognitive impairments.

Missing Child/College Student: When a missing child under the age of 21 or a college student of any age is deemed to be endangered, but the case does not meet AMBER Alert activation criteria, there are two alternative alert systems available, known as the Missing Child and College Student Alert Programs. 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 spectrum disorder or other medical conditions can be at an extreme safety risk if they go missing.

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 contents, and calling 911 if you believe you’ve seen a missing person. Currently, issuance of AMBER and Silver Alerts to all subscribers is a legislated requirement of the Notify NYC program.

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

Notify NYC program is currently 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.

back to top

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.

back to top

Why are messages different depending on the device I use?

Each mode of communication has different limitations. Messages received by phone and email can be longer than text messages 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.

back to top

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. 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 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 you have poor 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.

back to top

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

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) 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 state law enforcement officials for confirmed child abductions. For more information, visit: http://www.fema.gov/integrated-public-alert-warning-system.

back to top

My Preferences

Can I update my account information after I register?

You can update all of your account settings by visiting www1.nyc.gov/notifynyc and selecting “My Account”. You will need to enter your current username (email address) and password to access your account.

back to top

How do I update my account information?

There are two ways to update your account information:

  • If you enrolled online, you can update any of your account information on the "My Account" page. After clicking on the "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 to update your account information.

back to top

How do I reset my password?

  • Go to the Notify NYC home page: http://www1.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.”
  • 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.

back to top

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

  1.  Ensure you are on the “User Enrollment Details” screen.
  2.  Be sure your password:
   a.  is eight characters or more
   b.  includes a number or special character
   c.  includes a letter
   d.  is not your email address or first or last name
   e.  does not include the word “password”
  3.  Complete the remainder of the required information and select “Next”.

back to top

How do I stop receiving messages on a communication type (Phone, SMS, Instant messages, BlackBerry PIN, etc.)?

You can modify your account by logging into http://www1.nyc.gov/notifynyc. Your account is password- protected, so there is no way for the City to modify your account.

To edit your account settings:

  1. Click on “My Account” in the top navigation bar.
  2. Enter your email and password and click “Login.”
  3. 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.
  4. 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 Messanger (IM) screen names.

back to top

How do I opt out of Notify NYC?

You can modify your account by logging into http://www1.nyc.gov/notifynyc.

To completely opt out of Notify NYC:

  1. Click on “My Account” in the top navigation bar.
  2. Enter your email and password and click “Login.”
  3. 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".
  4. 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.
  5. Your account is now turned off and you will stop receiving notifications in 24 hours. Your account will subsequently be deleted after 180 days, and you will no longer be able to log into this account.
  6. 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.

back to top

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

You can modify your account by logging into http://www1.nyc.gov/notifynyc.

To temporarily suspend your account:

  1. Click on “My Account” in the top navigation bar.
  2. Enter your email and password and click “Login”.
  3. 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".
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

back to top

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 http://www1.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."

back to top

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.

back to top


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