To prepare for the worst, you first have to imagine it. And not everyone wants to do that. There's no right answer to: How much do you want to know?
You get more of a choice thanks to Notify NYC, which began its citywide rollout in 2009. It's a program that allows you to get emergency (and non-emergency) notifications—disaster and public health alerts, emergency parking suspension, and school closings—by phone, email, tweets or text.
It's important to point out that this is a great idea that may not work well—or at all—during a major emergency since it's predicated on phone and data networks continuing to function in that period.
Still, Notify NYC might help you get vital info when you need it most.