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How One Simple Question is Helping New Yorkers Prepare for Hurricane Season

May 28, 2014
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How One Simple Question is Helping New Yorkers Prepare for Hurricane Season
William Thomas Cain/Getty Images
Knowing your zone is the key to preparedness.

“Do you know your zone?”

That’s the question New York commuters are being asked on billboards, in subway trains, on bus shelters, and on ferries as this year’s hurricane season approaches. (It officially begins on June 1.)

In the wake of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy (which killed 147 people and cause an estimated $50 billion in devastating damage along the eastern seaboard), New York City officials are ramping up for this year’s hurricane season by ensuring their residents are as prepared as they are. Which explains why the advertisements, which bear a vibrant bullseye, are popping up across the five boroughs, targeting the more than three million Big Apple residents.

Backed by the New York City Office of Emergency Management and design studio C&G Partners, the “Know Your Zone” campaign is designed to educate New Yorkers on how they should prepare for an impending hurricane based on the six different hurricane zones in proximity to the water. The outer red zone on the sign signifies the zone closest to the water, whereas the green is the farthest away.

MORE: How a Tornado-Stricken Town Became a Model of American Sustainability

Jonathan Alger, one of the designers behind the project, told Fast Company the purpose of the bullseye logo was to “create a symbol that would attract the eye no matter where it was placed or how fast it was moving by.”

The ads encourages residents to call or go online to find out what zone they live in and to learn, in the event of a hurricane, what measures of precaution they should take. The location of the ad determines its content. For example, bus shelter ads inform commuters which zone they’re currently in, while subway ones compel residents to log on and find out.

Joseph Bruno, the city’s commissioner of the office of emergency management, told the Associated Press that the devastation left by Sandy is a harrowing reminder that New York must be prepared as it heads into hurricane season.

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