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.



Winter Storm Warning in effect from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon; 8 to 12 inches of snow is predicted


Alternate Side Parking Regulations are suspended Wednesday, December 16 and Thursday, December 17; parking meters remain in effect


December 15, 2020 ó The New York City Emergency Management Department today issued a hazardous travel advisory for Wednesday afternoon, December 16 through Thursday, December 17. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for New York City in effect from 2 p.m. Wednesday through 1 p.m. Thursday, December 17. According to the National Weather Service, a winter storm is expected to bring snow to the area beginning Wednesday afternoon, continuing through the Thursday morning rush. Light snow will develop Wednesday afternoon, intensifying into the night. The heaviest period of snow is forecast for Wednesday evening through early Thursday morning. There is the potential for snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour. Snow is expected to end by mid-morning Thursday, though a lingering snow shower is possible. A total of 8 to 12 inches of snow is expected, with locally higher amounts possible. High winds are also in the forecast for Wednesday evening through Thursday morning, with sustained winds 20 mph to 30 mph, and gusts up to 50 mph. The combination of heavy snow and breezing conditions could cause near-blizzard conditions. Temperatures are only expected to reach the mid-30s on Thursday and Friday, which will result in the potential for continued dangerous road conditions after the snow has ended.


A Coastal Flood Watch is also in effect for southern Queens from 8 a.m. Thursday through 2 p.m. Thursday. A Coastal Flood Watch means that conditions favorable for flooding are expected to develop. Some roads and low-lying property including parking lots, parks, lawns, and homes or businesses near the waterfront may experience flooding, and widespread to moderate coastal flooding is possible. Coastal residents should be alert for later statements or warnings, and take action to protect property.


A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for northern Queens and the Bronx from 11 p.m. Wednesday to 2 a.m. Thursday. Minor to locally moderate flooding is expected in the most vulnerable locations near the waterfront and shoreline. Expect 1 to locally 2 feet of inundation above ground level in low-lying, vulnerable areas. Some roads and low-lying property including parking lots, parks, lawns and homes/businesses with basements near the waterfront will experience shallow flooding.


New Yorkers are advised to work remotely and refrain from unnecessary travel. If travel is necessary, use mass transit where possible, wear a face covering, and adhere to social distancing guidelines. If you must drive, allow for extra travel time, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency, and exercise extreme caution.


NYC Emergency Management is working closely with the National Weather Service to monitor the stormís track to determine the impacts to New York City. The agency will activate the Cityís virtual Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Wednesday with City, state, and private partners to coordinate the response to the storm. The Cityís Sanitation department is pre-deploying 705 salt spreaders and 30 brine vehicles before the first snow flake, will activate PlowNYC to monitor plowing progress, and will dispatch 1,300 plows when more than two inches of snow accumulates, with additional plows available if necessary. DSNY will assign 2,000 workers per shift. Workers were assigned to 12-hour shifts. For additional DSNY updates, along with agency updates,


Winter Storm Safety Tips

∑       Stay off the roads as much as possible. If you must travel, use mass transit, and check for scheduling. Remember to wear a face covering and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

∑       If you must drive, drive slowly. Allow for extra travel time, and exercise caution when traveling. Use major streets or highways for travel whenever possible.

∑       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.

∑       If you have to go outdoors, wear dry, warm clothing and cover exposed skin. Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered. Wear a hat, hood, scarf, and gloves. Stay alert for signs of hypothermia, like intense shivering or dizziness, and anyone who experiences these symptoms should seek medical attention or call 911.

∑       Be careful when shoveling snow. Follow your doctorís advice if you have heart disease or high blood pressure. Cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart.

∑       Check on family, friends and neighbors who may need help in cold weather ó especially older adults or people with disabilities ó to make sure they are safe inside and have heat.

∑       Immediately tell your building superintendent, property manager or owner if you do not have heat. Call 311 if the problem is not fixed quickly and go to a warm place, such as a friendís or family memberís home (while maintaining proper physical distance and wearing a face mask). If you stay at home, wear layers of clothing.

∑       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. Do not heat your home with a gas stove or oven, charcoal grill, or kerosene, propane, or oil-burning heaters.


Power Outages


∑       Charge cell phone batteries.

∑       Turn your refrigerator and freezer to a colder setting. If you lose power, items that need refrigeration will stay cooler for longer.

∑       If you lose power & have a disability/access and functional needs or use Life Sustaining Equipment (LSE) & need immediate assistance, dial 911.

∑       Stay informed. Before and during an emergency, the City will send emergency alerts and updates to New Yorkers through various channels, including Notify NYC. New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the Cityís free emergency communications program. To sign up for Notify NYC, download the free mobile application, visit, call 311, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.


For additional safety tips, visit and the Health Departmentís online infographic.


New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the Cityís free emergency communications program, for the latest information and updates on this storm and emergency events in NYC. To sign up for Notify NYC, download the free mobile application, visit, call 311, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter. For more severe weather information, visit

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.

December 15, 2020