The Advance Warning System (AWS) disseminates information to people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs through their service providers. Please share the important information below with your clients and other agencies or individuals to empower them to make informed decisions.


January 29, 2022 — The New York City Emergency Management Department today updated New Yorkers on the City’s response to the nor’easter. The City continues its response and is working to clear roadways as quickly as possible. The NYC Department of Sanitation operations continue, with 1,800 plows dispatched throughout the city. 


·       New Yorkers are strongly encouraged to stay home and off the roads. If you must go out, allow for extra travel time. New Yorkers are urged to use public transportation.  

·       If you must drive, drive slowly. Use major streets or highways for travel whenever possible.  

·       Vehicles take longer to stop on snow and ice than on dry pavement.  

·       Pedestrians should exercise caution and avoid slippery surfaces; some ice may not be visible. Wear sturdy boots that provide traction to reduce slipping. Use handrails when using stairs.  

·       Take care when walking on snow and ice, especially if you are an older adult. Seniors should take extra care outdoors to avoid slips and falls.  

·       Have heightened awareness of cars, particularly when approaching or crossing intersections.  

Snow Removal Safety Tips 

·       Stretch before you go out. If you go out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises to warm up your body. This may prevent injury. 

·       Cover your mouth. Protect your lungs from extremely cold air by covering your mouth when outdoors. 

·       Avoid overexertion. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Unfamiliar exercise, such as shoveling snow or pushing a car, can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse. Take frequent rest breaks, and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. 

·       Keep dry. Change wet clothes frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly. 

·       Stay safe. Walk carefully on snowy or icy sidewalks. If using a snowblower, never use your hands to unclog the machine. 

·       Maintain an awareness of utilities while shoveling snow. Do not cover fire hydrants with snow when clearing sidewalks and driveways. Do not shovel snow into manholes and catch basins. 

·       Offer to help individuals who require special assistance, including seniors and people with disabilities. 

·       To keep our City running, snow must be removed from streets, sidewalks, and curb cuts after it has finished falling. This is important for all New Yorkers, particularly seniors and individuals who have disabilities. Learn more 

Agency Updates  

NYC Emergency Management  

·       NYC Emergency Management is working closely with the National Weather Service. 

·       NYC Emergency Management's virtual Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is activated to coordinate the City's response to the storm. 

·       NYC Emergency Management is hosting daily interagency conference calls with City and state agencies and public and private partners to coordinate the City's response to the storm.  

·       NYC Emergency Management is providing regular updates to elected officials about the City's storm response.  

·       NYC Emergency Management has also issued multiple Advance Warning System (AWS) messages to more than 8,300 subscribers representing more than 2,000 organizations that disseminate information to people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.  

·       NYC Emergency Management deployed Citywide Interagency Coordinators to all five boroughs to monitor conditions and rapidly respond to incidents, as needed.  

·       NYC Emergency Management has placed the City's Downed Trees Task Force on alert. This multi-agency task force is responsible for coordinating the response to a large downed tree event. 

·       The City's Tow Truck Task Force has been activated to prioritize and coordinate towing assets. When severe winter weather events present hazards for the continued operation of vehicles within the public right-of-way, the Tow Truck Task Force monitors the coordination of tow resources to assist public safety agencies in sustaining life safety response operations, and to maximize the efficiency of citywide snow clearing operations. 

Department of Sanitation (DSNY) 

·       The NYC Department of Sanitation has filled over 700 salt spreaders, and deployed them as necessary across the City. DSNY has activated PlowNYC and has dispatched over 1,800 plows (as more than two inches of snow has accumulated). 

·       DSNY had 290,000 tons of rock salt on hand heading into this storm, as well as 285,000 gallons of calcium chloride and 58,000 gallons of sodium chloride brine.  

·       DSNY issued a snow alert beginning January 28 at 4 p.m. 

·       Alternate Side Parking Regulations are suspended Saturday, January 29, to facilitate snow removal. (Alternate Side Parking also will be suspended Monday, January 31, and Tuesday, February 1, due to Lunar New Year.) 

·       The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) hires temporary snow laborers to remove snow and ice from bus stops, crosswalks, fire hydrants, and other locations throughout New York City. Pre-registered snow will be called to directly to report to work on Sunday, January 30 at 8 a.m.   

Economic Development Corporation (EDC) 

·       NYC Ferry service has been impacted by winter storm conditions. Service changes and/or suspensions will be posted on and announced via social media, app notifications, and email.  

Department of Buildings (DOB) 

·       The Department of Buildings has issued a weather advisory reminding property owners, contractors and crane operators to take precautionary measures and secure their construction sites, buildings, and equipment during high winds. 

·       The Department will be performing random spot-check inspections of construction sites around the city. If sites are not secured, the Department will take immediate enforcement action — issuing violations and Stop Work Orders, where necessary. 

To safeguard construction sites, builders, contractors, and developers should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:  

·       Tie down and secure material and loose debris at construction sites. 

·       Cover electrical equipment from exposure to the weather.  

·       Secure netting, scaffolding, and sidewalk sheds.  

·       Clear icicles and vulnerable snow masses from sidewalk sheds, and supported and suspended scaffolds.  

·       Clear roofs, overhangs and gutters of melting snow and ice.  

·       Brace and secure construction fences.            

·       Call 911 if there is an emergency on a construction site.  

·       To secure a building, property owners should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:  

·       Bring inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools, and toys. 

·       Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills, or propane tanks.  

·       Secure and clear roofs, awnings, umbrellas, and overhangs of melting snow and ice.  

·       Check to ensure all gutters, roof drains, and down spouts are cleared of debris to allow for proper drainage.  

·       Secure retractable awnings.  

·       Take down tents or follow manufacturer's instructions to secure them.    

NYC Parks   

·       NYC Parks activated more than 1,100 staff, 360 vehicles, including over 150 with plows and salt spreaders, and close to 200 pieces of equipment, including 145 snow blowers and brushes, for snow removal operations.  

·       If snow accumulates, Parks will support the NYC Department of Sanitation's street plowing operation by lending 44 plows and operators.  

·       Parks has more than 2,000 miles of pathways across the city and prioritizes snow removal at commuter hubs, areas surrounding schools (Jointly Operated Playgrounds), park perimeters, and park interior pathways and "through park" greenway. 

·       Parks warns New Yorkers to never venture out onto waterbodies that appear frozen; they are likely not and are unsafe.   

·       On-duty Parks foresters will track the storm as tree damage often occurs during inclement weather, and severe storms can cause extensive damage. Please report tree issues to 311 or on NYC Parks' site; if there is a life-or-death emergency, call 911 immediately.  

Department of Social Services (DSS) 

In the event of extreme weather, DSS-DHS outreach teams redouble citywide efforts to engage New Yorkers experiencing unsheltered homelessness, with a focus on connecting vulnerable individuals to shelter and other available services. A Code Blue weather emergency notice is issued when the temperature drops to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below between 4 p.m. and 8 a.m., including National Weather Service calculations for wind chill values. During Code Blue periods, no one who is experiencing homeless and seeking shelter in New York City will be denied. Should you see an individual who appears to be experiencing homeless and in need out in the cold, please call 311 and an outreach team will be dispatched to offer assistance, including:  

·       Shelter services: During a Code Blue, shelter is available to accommodate anyone who is reasonably believed to be experiencing homelessness and is seeking respite from the cold.  

·       Drop-in Centers: During a Cold Blue, DSS-DHS conducts additional outreach to unsheltered New Yorkers and DSS-DHS Drop-In Centers (DICs) will be open to serve as many clients as possible.   

·       Safe Havens and stabilization beds: During extreme weather, unsheltered New Yorkers may be transported directly to Safe Havens and stabilization beds, which are low-barrier housing programs designed specifically to meet the needs of New Yorkers experiencing unsheltered homelessness.   

·       Unsheltered outreach: DSS-DHS coordinates borough-level outreach efforts directly with partner City agencies, including but not limited to DSNY and the Parks Department, to connect unsheltered individuals to the range of resources and services available. In addition, outreach teams will contact vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness on their Code Blue Priority Lists.   

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) 

·       DEP deployed resources to assist the Department of Sanitation with snow removal and pre-positioned staff to ensure critical wastewater treatment and drinking water functions continue without interruption.  

Department of Transportation (DOT) 

·       DOT continues to assist DSNY with snow removal.  

·       DOT's Bridges Division crews continue to cover the East River Bridges and BQE promenade. 

·       DOT's Arterial, Parking, Traffic Control & Engineering, and Citywide Concrete Units have been clearing snow from pedestrian overpasses, underpasses, muni lot perimeters and step streets.  

·       Crews from JC Decaux are currently clearing bus shelters.  

·       Lyft/Citi Bike system remains open.  

·        DOT is monitoring conditions on the citywide transportation network at the Joint Transportation Management Center with State DOT and NYPD, and coordinate efforts to address any issues.   

·       The Staten Island Ferry is operating on an hourly schedule overnight 

·        DOT's Ferry Division continues to clear walkways at the Staten Island Ferry terminals  

·       Beginning Friday night, DOT is placing a temporary halt on Open Streets. Diners may not be seated in Open Restaurants roadway or sidewalk setups and partners should remove or secure tables/chairs and remove all electrical heaters. It's also recommended that restaurants remove any overhead coverings or regularly remove any snow until the Alert ends.  

·       Open Restaurants are suspended for Saturday, January 29.  

·       Alternate Side Parking Regulations are suspended Saturday, January 29. (Alternate Side Parking also will be suspended Monday, January 31, and Tuesday, February 1, due to Lunar New Year.)  

·       Bronx e-scooter pilot has been suspended as of Friday at 10 p.m. and scooters were removed from streets. 

New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) 

·       NYCHA's Office of Emergency Management has activated its virtual Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to manage the response to the storm. The EOC enables the Authority to quickly track and respond to service needs; disseminate accurate information to the public and identify any public health hazards. 

·       NYCHA is mobilizing snow removal equipment and has pre-treated walkways and other common spaces ahead of intensifying snowfall, in addition to readying generators for deployment and scheduling additional staff if necessary. 

·       NYCHA Property Management came in early Saturday morning to begin snow removal procedures. NYCHA's Customer Contact Center is adding additional staff to handle increased call volume for residents experiencing issues. 

·       NYCHA's Department of Communications and Intergovernmental Department will also amplify NYC Emergency Management messaging and brief elected officials on relevant status updates. 


·       Be #FDNYSmart when the temperature dips — remember to check on vulnerable neighbors to make sure they're safe and warm. 

·       Please shovel snow away from hydrants so FDNY can access in case of emergency. 

·       In anticipation of snow, prepare to shovel a path to hydrants so they are visible to FDNY in case of emergency. Any delay in fire companies locating hydrants and getting water on a fire endangers the lives of both firefighters and civilians. 

·       Keep #FDNYSmart tips in mind as you clear hydrants. Ask a neighbor for help, don't overexert. 

·       Prolonged exposure to cold can result in hypothermia. Stay safe this winter by following these #FDNYSmart tips.  

For more tips, visit


·       Due to heavy snowfall, expect delays and service changes on MTA train service system-wide in New York City. For the latest MTA service updates, please visit  

For more safety tips, visit New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency notification system, to stay informed about the latest weather updates and other emergencies. To learn more about the Notify NYC program or to sign up, visit, call 311, or download the free app for your Android or Apple device. You can also follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.  


Twitter: @NotifyNYC (emergency notifications) or @nycemergencymgt (emergency preparedness info)  

Facebook: /NYCemergencymanagement 

The Advance Warning System (AWS) alerts organizations who work with people with disabilities and access and functional needs to various types of hazards and emergencies in New York City that may affect people's independence and daily lives. Participating organizations receive public preparedness and emergency information that they can relay to their clients and other similar agencies. If you work for an organization that serves people with disabilities or access and functional needs you can subscribe for AWS Alerts at the following link:

Please do no reply to this e-mail. This mailbox is not monitored. To make changes or receive assistance with your account, please login to the AWS website or contact us through the AWS website. If you think you or someone else may have an emergency, call 911 immediately.

January 29, 2022