With peak hurricane season underway in New York, city officials are urging residents to make sure they're prepared in case there's another major storm like Sandy.
During a news conference on Friday in Red Hook, Brooklyn — a community hard-hit by the storm — Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city has learned lessons from Sandy and must accept the reality of climate change. "The events we used to consider extreme weather are becoming more common," he said. "We have to assume they're coming and be ready."
City officials are urging New Yorkers to make sure they have an emergency plan, find out whether they're in an evacuation zone and make sure they know their evacuation routes. The city has expanded its evacuation zones from three to six. You can find out if you're in one of them by checking the city's Hurricane Evacuation Map.
Many Red Hook residents have already taken heed of those warnings. Alisa Pizarro, who lives in the Red Hook Houses, lost power, water and heat for four weeks after Sandy. She said the community really rallied together in the wake of the storm — especially as they waited for city officials to provide help.
Pizarro thinks the city's better prepared now. But she still has a message for elected officials, should another big storm hit.
"Make sure that you look at this type of community and don't assume, 'oh, they're fine,'" she said. "Just come out and see what is it that the community needs...they didn't do that.
Pizarro is now trained as a community organizer through Red Hook Initiative, a neighborhood non-profit.