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.

The winter season brings the possibility of winter weather emergencies. Advance Warning System partners should prepare staff and clients for the upcoming winter season. To learn more about winter weather safety, visit the Health Department’s interactive online infographic.

People at greatest risk of being affected by extreme cold and other winter weather-related dangers may include those who:

  • Are homeless and not in shelters
  • Use alcohol or drugs
  • Live in a home with inadequate or no heat and:

o Are older adults

o Are infants

o Have heart or lung conditions

o Have serious mental health conditions

o Have developmental disabilities

o Have dementia 

 Home Energy Assistance Program

The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is available to help people who qualify pay the cost of heating their homes.

The 2022-2023 Regular HEAP benefit is open. Eligibility and benefits are based on income, household size, the primary heating source, and must have a household member who is under six years old, ages 60 years or older, or permanently disabled. 

The 2022-2023 Emergency HEAP benefit is scheduled to open on January 3, 2023. Households may also be eligible for an emergency benefit if they are in danger of running out of heating fuel or having their utility service shut off. Emergency HEAP benefits and eligibility are based on income, available resources, and the type of emergency. Households facing an energy emergency should call their local Department of Social Services’ HEAP office for assistance. 

The 2022-2023 Heat Equipment Repair and Replacement benefit is open. Homeowners may be eligible for assistance to replace or repair a furnace, boiler, or other direct heating equipment. Benefit amounts are based on actual cost of repair or replacement. Households may call their local Department of Social Services’ HEAP office to apply. 

For more information on eligibility and applying for HEAP benefits, visit Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

If you do not have heat, immediately tell your building superintendent, property manager or owner. Call 311 if the problem is not fixed quickly. Improper use of portable heating equipment can lead to fire or dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Do not heat your home with a gas stove or oven, charcoal grill, or kerosene, propane, or oil-burning heaters.

Protect Yourself from COVID-19, Flu, and RSV

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), flu, and COVID-19 activity are increasing in New York City. Infants, older adults, and people with a weakened immune system are particularly at risk for these diseases. People with symptoms of a respiratory illness – including cough, congestion and other signs of a cold – should contact their health care provider to find out how and where to get care. In the case of an emergency, such as difficulty breathing, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.

The best way to protect yourself and those around you from COVID-19 and flu is to get vaccinated. COVID-19 updated booster shots are now available for people ages 5 and older. The updated booster is designed to protect against recent variants. It’s safe to get both your COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot at the same time. Wearing a face mask when in indoor public places and following good hand hygiene are other important ways to protect yourself from COVID-19, flu, RSV, and other respiratory viruses. And staying home when sick protects others from getting sick.

To find a nearby COVID-19 and flu vaccination provider, visit or contact NYC Health + Hospitals at 1-844-NYC-4NYC (844-692-4692) to schedule an appointment with a primary care provider who can offer your child vaccines.

NYC Health + Hospitals’ Virtual ExpressCare can connect a patient to a healthcare provider in minutes, and the service is available 24/7 in over 200 languages. Patients can access Virtual ExpressCare by going to or calling 631-EXP-Care (631-397-2273).

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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.

November 17, 2022