Advance Warning System - Winter Storm Advisory

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Greetings AWS Partners,

The National Weather Service is forecasting 2 to 5 inches of precipitation throughout the City and temperatures near freezing on Saturday, January 24. A wintry mix of freezing rain and snow is forecast for the area beginning in the early morning hours and continuing throughout the day Saturday. Winds will increase throughout the day, with gusts up to 25 mph expected through Saturday evening. Icing may occur, creating dangerous conditions on roadways and pedestrian pathways. Additionally, the National Weather Service is tracking a storm that may affect the area Sunday/Monday, but has low confidence in a prediction at this time; if the storm presents a hazard there will be an additional AWS message sent calling attention to it.

Due to the anticipated weather on Saturday, New Yorkers are advised to exercise caution when traveling. Please inform your clients of the adverse weather conditions and encourage them to alter plans as necessary to stay safe. Access-a-Ride is available 24 hours by calling 311. To find updated weather information, please visit You may also want to adjust appointments or deliveries as needed. Please also review the cold weather safety tips below.

Cold weather is also dangerous for pets. The ASPCA� (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals�) advises people to keep cats indoors, especially at night when temperatures drop, and take measures to keep dogs warm, dry and safe from anti-freeze and sidewalk salt. Thoroughly wipe off your dog's paws and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice, as they can ingest salt, anti-freeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals by licking his paws. Paw pads may also become irritated from snow or encrusted ice. Pets should be inside the home year round, but it is especially important during the cold weather. Pets who normally live outdoors should be brought inside as protection against the harsh conditions. Outdoor time for dogs to relieve themselves should be limited, walks should be kept as brief as possible, and animals should always wear proper ID tags. There is no distinct time limit for how long dogs should be outside to go to the bathroom; it depends on the dog (breed, size, age, health conditions etc.).


Tips for Staying Warm

Exposure to cold can cause life-threatening health conditions. Avoid serious conditions, such as frostbite and hypothermia, by keeping warm.

� Wear a hat, hood, or scarf, as most heat is lost through the head.
� Wear layers, as they provide better insulation and warmth.
� Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered if you go outside.
� Keep clothing dry; if a layer becomes wet, remove it.

Seniors, infants, the homeless, and those with chronic medical conditions are at increased risk. If you know of friends, neighbors, or family members who may be at risk, check on them to make sure their heat is working and that they are okay.

Helping Others

Recognize the signs and symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite:

Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition where body temperature is abnormally low. Symptoms may include shivering, slurred speech, sluggishness, drowsiness, unusual behavior, confusion, dizziness, and shallow breathing.

Frostbite is a serious injury to a body part frozen from exposure to the cold. It most often affects extremities like fingers and toes or exposed areas such as ears or parts of the face. Redness and pain may be the first warning of frostbite. Other symptoms include numbness or skin that appears pale, firm, or waxy.

Provide first aid:
� If you suspect a person is suffering from frostbite or hypothermia, bring him or her someplace warm and call 911.
� If medical help is not immediately available, re-warm the person, by removing any damp clothing and covering them with warm blankets.

What to Do if You Lose Heat or Hot Water at Home

Any New York City tenant without adequate heat or hot water should first speak with the building owner, manager, or superintendent. If the problem is not corrected, tenants should call 311. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will take measures to ensure your heat and hot water is restored.


Improper use of portable heating equipment can lead to fire or dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Take precautions to ensure you are heating your home safely.

Fire safety tips:
� Use only portable heating equipment that is approved for indoor use.
� Keep combustible materials, including furniture, drapes, and carpeting at least three feet away from the heat source. NEVER drape clothes over a space heater to dry.
� Always keep an eye on heating equipment. Never leave children alone in the room where a space heater is running. Turn it off when you are unable to closely monitor it.
� Be careful not to overload electrical circuits.
� Make sure you have a working smoke detector in every room. Check and change batteries often.

Carbon monoxide safety tips:

� Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home and check them regularly to make sure the batteries are working. NYC law requires owners to provide and install at least one approved carbon monoxide alarm within 15 feet of the primary entrance to each sleeping room.
� Make sure your heating system is kept clean and properly vented; have worn or defective parts replaced.
� Kerosene heaters and propane space heaters are dangerous and illegal in New York City.
� Never heat your home with a gas stove or oven.
� Never use any gas-powered appliance, charcoal grill, or hibachi indoors.
� Never run a car or truck in a garage or enclosed area. Clear exhaust pipes before starting a car or truck after it snows.
� The most common symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning is headache. However, symptoms may also include dizziness, chest pain, nausea, and vomiting. In severe cases, people can become increasingly irritable, agitated and confused, eventually becoming lethargic and lapsing into unconsciousness.
� If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, open windows, leave your home, get to fresh air immediately, and call 911.


For more information about cold weather safety and how you can prepare for emergencies call 311 or visit

NYC Emergency Management will continue to monitor this weather system, and the agency's Human Services Unit will keep you updated as the situation develops. If you have any questions or comments during this time, please do not hesitate to contact the Human Services Unit. If you need assistance immediately contact OEM Watch Command at 718-422-8700.

NYC Emergency Management Human Services Unit:
Human Services email distribution list:

Johanna Conroy
Director of Human Services
Cell: 917-662-3295

Marianne Jackson
Special Needs Liaison
Cell: 646-335-5693

Eli Fresquez
Special Needs Coordinator
Cell: 347-386-0389

Cynthia Barton
Disaster Housing Recovery Program Manager
Cell: 917-468-2768

Jonas Ballreich
Human Services Emergency Preparedness Specialist
Cell: 347-374-1058

Jay Brandt
Human Services Emergency Preparedness Manager
Cell: 646-596-3147

Annette Santiago
Director of Human Resources
Cell: 347-534-7028

Marnie Suss
Interagency Training Coordinator
Cell: 718-468-1728

January 23, 2015