DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – Amid the myriad notifications pushing their way to the front of your phones—texts, tweets, Tinder connections and Times headlines—get ready to make room for one more.
The new Notify NYC app is the city’s “first emergency notification mobile application,” giving users real-time updates on emergency events like hurricanes and blizzards, traffic and trains, and public health hazards. Not to mention the all-important unscheduled parking rule suspensions.
A collaboration between the The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), the free app provides New Yorkers with real-time updates about potential emergency situations.
Users can set up 5 ZIP code areas to receive notifications, getting updates specific to where they live as well as, potentially, where their parents live, or where their kids go to school.
Many cities offer this kind of emergency notification system, but Notify NYC’s upgrade is a first: anonymously tracking the user, it gives location-based notifications that are updated in real time, wherever you go.
Since its inception in 2007, the app has garnered more than 500,000 users. Within a year’s time, administrators would like to see that number grow to 1 million.
“It’s crucial that New Yorkers know what’s going on around the city, especially in an emergency,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a press release. “This new app will make it easier than ever to stay informed and get alerts about what’s happening – both nearby and citywide.”
NYC emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito stressed the on-the-go nature of New Yorkers and said the app—with its new tracking technology—was the perfect accompaniment for staying safe in the city.
It’s available for free download from normal app stores for both iPhone and Android. A brief on-boarding process lets users set their location and further settings can be dialed in for what type of information a user elects to receive.