New Yorkers: Prepare for Lower Temperatures and Extreme Weather

NEW YORK – New Yorkers are urged to prepare for another winter storm as temperatures across the state are expected to drop well below zero in the coming days.

In a statement released Monday, the New York City Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services described areas that could be hit the hardest and how residents can stay safe during extreme winter conditions.

Several areas of the state, especially those adjacent to Lakes Erie and Ontario, should expect wind chills as low as -20 and -30 degrees to start later in the day and continue until Tuesday afterwards. midday, according to officials.

This type of weather increases the risk of hypothermia and frostbite and increases the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning (from portable heaters and fuel-burning appliances).

Several areas of central New York and northern New York are expected to receive up to two feet of lakefront snow, with gusts of up to 40 mph sometimes through Tuesday. Officials say getting around will be difficult at times, as roads can be slippery due to a mixture of blowing snow and below-freezing temperatures.

“Weather conditions across the state will bring extreme cold until Wednesday and many of the same areas will experience dangerous travel conditions until tomorrow due to heavy snow, high winds and dangerously cold temperatures,” said Acting Commissioner Jackie Bray. “I warn New Yorkers that extremely cold temperatures can cause frostbite on exposed skin within minutes, so limit your time outdoors and know where to shelter if necessary. If you can, check with neighbors and residents. close and make sure they are safe. “

For the most recent weather warnings, watches and advisories in your area, visit the National Weather Service Public Alerts website.

  • Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable
  • Watch for the following symptoms:
    • Inability to concentrate, poor coordination
    • Speech disorders
    • Drowsiness
    • Exhaustion
    • And / or uncontrollable chills, followed by a sudden absence of chills
  • If the body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, get emergency medical help right away.
    • Remove wet clothes, wrap the victim in warm blankets and give hot, alcohol-free and caffeine-free fluids until help arrives.

Protection of water pipes

  • Avoid frozen water lines and protect your home or business by following these steps:
    • When it’s cold, run cold and hot water overnight from a faucet on an exterior wall
    • Open cabinet doors to allow more heat to reach uninsulated pipes under a sink or appliance near an outside wall
    • Make sure the heat is left on and set to no less than 55 degrees
  • If you plan to be away, have someone check your home daily to make sure the heating is always on to prevent freezing, or drain and shut off the water system (except indoor sprinkler systems)
  • If the pipes do freeze, make sure you and your family know how to shut off the water, in case the pipes burst (stopping the water flow minimizes damage to your home)
  • Never attempt to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch
  • Always pay attention to the risk of electric shock in and around standing water
  • Call a plumber and contact your insurance agent

Be “safe from fire”

Heating equipment is among the leading causes of home fires nationwide and in New York state, officials say.

Here’s how to stay safe:

  • Buy and carefully maintain a quality smoke and carbon monoxide detector
  • Inspect your home to eliminate or control fire hazards
  • Install at least 5 pounds of ABC type fire extinguishers in the house and teach family members how to use them
  • Establish a well-planned escape route with the whole family
  • Hold fire drills until all family members are fully familiar with the plan
  • If you have an older home, have the wiring checked by a qualified electrician to make sure it meets local building codes.
  • Have your chimney and fireplace cleaned and inspected annually for creosote buildup, cracks, crumbling bricks or mortar, and any obstructions
  • Keep storage areas clean and tidy
  • Keep curtains, towels and pot holders away from hot surfaces
  • Store flammable solvents and cleaners away from heat sources
    • NEVER keep gasoline in the house.
  • Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs

Maintain and inspect home heating appliances

Proper maintenance and annual inspection of heat pumps, furnaces, radiators, wood and charcoal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys and chimney connections by trained specialists can prevent fires and save lives, according to the responsibles. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation, ventilation, fueling, maintenance, and repair. Consult the owner’s manual to make sure you remember the operating and safety features.

  • Water heater – Keep radiators at least 3 feet away from furniture, window treatments, bedding, clothing, rugs and other combustibles
  • Avoid the use of extension cords with electric heaters. Always turn off heaters before leaving the room or going to bed
  • Combustion appliances – Inspect the stop mechanism and the bit for proper operation. Fill the tank with fresh fuel. Let the radiator cool down before refueling
    • Adding fuel to a hot furnace can start a dangerous fire
  • Wood-burning appliances and fireplaces – Do not burn garbage in the wood stove or fireplace. Only burn dry hardwoods
    • Make sure the fire you build fits your fireplace or stove, don’t overload it
    • Make sure wood stoves are installed at least 36 inches from the wall
    • Keep combustible materials a good distance from the fireplace, stove and chimney
    • Keep the area around them clean
    • Always use a spark arrester to prevent sparks from escaping the fireplace and starting a fire.
    • Never leave a fire unattended
  • Fireplaces – Creosote buildup is the leading cause of chimney fires, officials say
    • A dirty, blocked or in poor condition chimney can prevent proper smoke evacuation in the flue and can also cause a chimney fire.
    • Almost all residential chimney fires are preventable
    • An annual chimney inspection by a qualified chimney sweep can prevent fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Ashes – Keep wood stoves and fireplaces free from excessive ash build-up
    • Excessive ash build-up prevents proper circulation of the air necessary for combustion
    • When removing the ashes, use a metal container with a tight-fitting lid
    • Always place ashes in an outdoor location away from structures
    • Ashes that appear cold may contain smoldering charcoal that can start a fire

Carbon monoxide

  • Carbon monoxide is produced wherever fuel is burned and is the leading cause of accidental poisoning death in the United States, officials say
  • Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, and invisible killer, and the ONLY sure way to detect it is by using a carbon monoxide alarm.
  • Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include drowsiness, headache, and dizziness
  • If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, ventilate the area and go to the hospital

Other heating safety tips

  • Make sure chimneys and vents are checked for blockages, corrosion and loose connections
  • Fully open the ducts when the fireplaces are in use
  • Use proper fuel in radiators
  • Never burn charcoal or a barbecue inside a house or an enclosed space
  • Never use portable fuel-powered camping equipment inside a home, garage, or vehicle
  • Never allow a car to drive into an attached garage, even with the garage door open
  • Never use unventilated combustion appliances in a room where people are sleeping
  • Never use the stove to heat a house
  • Never run a gasoline generator in a garage, basement or near an overhang of the house … keep it away

Winter driving

Transportation accidents are the leading cause of death and injury during winter storms, officials said.

  • Before getting behind the wheel:
    • Make sure your vehicle is free of ice and snow; good vision is the key to good driving
    • Plan your stops and keep more distance between cars
    • Be very careful when driving and remember that snowdrifts can hide small children (always match your speed to road and weather conditions)
  • Snowplows travel at speeds of up to 35 mph, which in many cases is below the posted speed limit, to ensure that dispersed salt stays in the traffic lanes and does not disperse onto roads. roads
    • Often on interstate highways, snowplows will work side-by-side, as this is the most efficient and safest way to clear multiple lanes at once.
    • Motorists and pedestrians should also keep in mind that snowplow operators have limited sight lines, and the size and weight of snowplows can make maneuvering and quick stops very difficult.
    • Snow blown behind the plow can drastically reduce visibility or cause whiteout conditions
    • Motorists should not attempt to pass plows or follow too closely
    • The safest place for motorists is well behind snowplows where the road is open and salty
  • Here are some of the most important tips for safe driving:
    • When winter storms hit, don’t drive unless necessary
    • Be careful on bridges as ice can form faster than on roads
    • Wet leaves on the roads can cause slippery conditions, so it is important to drive at slower speeds when approaching plots.
    • Make sure your car is equipped with blankets, shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothes, set of tire chains, battery booster cables, ‘fast-energy foods and a brightly colored cloth to use as a distress flag
    • Keep your gas tank full to avoid gasoline freezing
    • If you have a cell phone or two-way radio, keep the battery charged and keep it with you when traveling
      • If you find yourself stranded, you can call for help, informing rescuers of your location
    • Make sure someone knows about your travel plans
    • While driving, keep vehicles free of ice and snow
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