Supply and Demand

New York City’s Websites Ill-Prepared for Disaster Demand

umbrella New York Citys Websites Ill Prepared for Disaster DemandRemember back in January, when snow caused half a million simultaneous visitors brought down the city’s frustratingly-domained MTA.info? Well we’re sitting here, staring at the pixely hourglass by our pointer, as nyc.gov claims to be “redirecting.”

An MTA spokesman said at the time of the .info’s collapse that the agency would be adding servers and making its site more efficient. It’s up. Unfortunately, all transit is likely being shut down tomorrow. So. No need to really check.

NYC.gov, however, which has more than a million pages, didn’t get the disaster preparedness memo. Ah, now it has loaded a blank page; “request timeout.” The danger zone finder by address is also down. Perhaps all the servers are being used to handle page load for this .PDF of DANGER ZONES.

Betabeat emailed the city to ask whether the website will be available during the storm. Although we guess it won’t matter if there’s no internet. However if the storm doesn’t hit as hard as the histrionic weather reports suggest, citizens’ hindered access to information will be even more frustrating.

“We apologize for nyc.gov outage,” the city tweeted. “You can find the hurricane evacuation map @ http://bit.ly/qaDPwL y en Español @http://bit.ly/nwINyz #irene.”

In other news, Tumblr is not down.

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com