WINTER SAFETY TIPS
Every year, my office hosts a number of Emergency Preparedness meetings throughout our area to help residents prepare for and recover from natural disasters. The information provided to those who attended these events has been extremely beneficial during severe weather such as hurricanes and tropical storms.
But this same advice can in many cases prove just as beneficial during the winter storm season. That is why my office has incorporated the information provided at these meetings into this Winter Storm Safety Tips section with some specific winter safety tips to help you and your family be as prepared as possible this winter season. These tips and advice are designed to provide you with the information you need in case you have to travel, shovel or if you are simply staying indoors during the winter weather.
If you know of any additional information or web sites that you think would be beneficial to others, please e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org at your earliest convenience. My office will be sure to add them to the list to make sure that everyone is as well-prepared for winter storms as possible.
I hope you find this information useful and please be safe this winter season.
John J. Flanagan
511NY is New York State's official traffic and travel info source. Whether you drive or take public transit, click below or simply dial 511 on your phone for up to date information on traffic and transit conditions in New York State?
Motorists who need to check conditions can access winter weather travel updates at https://www.nysdot.gov/wta. Real-time travel reports can also be accessed by phone by dialing 511 or online at www.511ny.org.
For a power emergency or downed line, please call LIPA's Emergency Hotline Number is 800-490-0075 or 631-755-6900
Centereach Fire Department - 631-981-0177
Commack Fire Department - 631-499-6690
Dix Hills Fire Department - 631-499-8836
East Northport Fire Department - 631-261-1110
Farmingville Fire Department - 631-732-6611
Hauppauge Fire Department - 631-265-2499
Kings Park Fire Department - 631-265-1500
Melville Fire Department - 631-547-4121
Nesconset Fire Department - 631-265-1430
Northport Fire Department - 631-261-7504
Ronkonkoma Fire Department - 631-588-8410
Selden Fire Department - 631-732-1234
Setauket Fire Department - 631-941-4441
Smithtown Fire Department - 631-265-1503
St. James Fire Department - 631-584-5799
Stony Brook Fire Department - 631-751-0460
1st Precinct 555 Route 109, West Babylon - 854-8100
2nd Precinct 1071 Park Ave, Huntington - 854-8200
3rd Precinct 1630 5th Ave, Bay Shore - 854-8300
4th Precinct 345 Old Willets Path, Hauppauge - 854-8400
5th Precinct 125 Waverly Ave, Patchogue - 854-8500
6th Precinct Route 25 / Middle Country Rd, Coram - 854-8600
7th Precinct 1419 William Floyd Parkway, Shirley - 852-8700
Town of Smithtown Department of Public Safety - (631) 360-7553
Town of Brookhaven Department of Public Safety - (631) 451-6291
Town of Huntington Department of Public Safety - (631) 351-3266
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS PROVIDED BY THE
SUFFOLK COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
Preparedness is key! Preparing for a winter storm is much like preparing for any other emergency, with the first step involving ensuring you have sufficient emergency supplies on hand. These supplies should include the following:
· Food and water—at least a three day supply (one gallon of water per person per day, and a 3 day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food). Be sure to have adequate supplies for your pets as well.
· A flashlight and a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, with extra batteries.
· A first aid kit, a seven-day supply of medications and personal hygiene items.
· A cell phone, and family and emergency contact information.
· Warm coats, gloves, hats, boots and extra blankets and warm clothing for all household members.
· Ample alternative heating methods such as fireplaces, wood or coal burning-stoves, remembering carbon monoxide kills. As a result a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning device should never be used inside a structure or partially enclosed areas. All fuel-burning equipment must be vented to the outside, chimneys should be cleaned and inspected each year, and smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be installed on every level of your home and directly outside sleeping areas.
During and after the storm: The best thing to do following a storm is to stay put, provided your home has power and adequate heat during periods of extreme cold. Stay off the roads and avoid driving, enabling snowplows, utilities and other emergency responders to do their jobs. If you must go outside, protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting lightweight clothing in several layers. Remember: Cold + Wind = Frostbite.
Use care when removing snow. When shoveling, lift with your legs bent, not with your back, and be sure to not pick up too much at once. Take it slow, making sure to not work to the point of exhaustion, and do not shovel snow into the street on onto sidewalks. Operate snow blowers safely. Accidents occur most frequently when the discharge chute clogs with wet, heavy snow and individuals use their hands to clear the discharge chute. Be sure to stop the engine before clearing foreign objects or snow from the equipment, and never use your hand. Instead use a broom handle, stick or other appropriate object. When using the snow blower, ensure the area is free of all debris as machines can san send objects flying for up to 75 feet. In clearing snow remember, NYS law prohibits plowing or dumping snow onto handicapped parking spots.
Driving During Winter Weather: The best advice that can be offered regarding driving during severe winter weather is to stay home! If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere to be, watch and enjoy the snow safely from indoors. Recognizing some people must drive during periods of winter weather, we offer the following suggestions:
· Preparation is key! Ensure you have the proper tires, making sure to never mix radial with other types of tires. Ensure tires are properly inflated, that your wipers are in proper working order and that you have sufficient freeze-proof windshield-washer fluid.
· Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow and ice covered roads. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids.
· Allow sufficient time for turning and stopping regardless of whether you are driving a four-wheel drive vehicle or SUV. Do not overestimate your vehicle’s capabilities. Allow additional distance between your vehicle and other vehicles around you.
· Remember, NYS law requires vehicles that headlights and taillights be illuminated during periods of inclement weather, when windshield wipers are in use, or when visibility for a distance of one-thousand feet ahead of such motor vehicle is not clear.
Enjoying Winter Weather: While winter weather can be inconvenient and quite dangerous, it can also be beautiful and provide great opportunity for enjoyment. Children should always be supervised when sledding, and a safe, appropriate location must be chosen. Private property must be avoided, as must locations with slopes that end in a street, parking lot, pond or lake. Health professionals recommend helmets be worn and remind that appropriate clothing must be worn to prevent frostbite, hypothermia or strangulation (Avoid scarves or drawstrings).
ATV’s and snowmobiles should never be operated on private property (other than your own or with the express permission of the owner) or on sidewalks, public roadways, in public parking lots, etc. Each year, hundreds of people are killed and severely injured as the result of these vehicles being used in an unsafe, inappropriate or illegal manner. Helmets must always be worn when using these vehicles.
Lastly, avoid frozen waters. Frozen lakes, ponds and swimming pools may seem like a fun location for winter activities, but they are most often unpredictable and extremely dangerous. A fall through thin ice is often fatal. According to experts, the best advice is to stay off the ice!
CodeRED Emergency Notification System: Stay informed during actual or impending emergencies by signing up for Suffolk’s CodeRED notification system. To do so, visit the Suffolk County website at www.suffolkcountyny.gov or simply call (631) 852-4900.
Move Over Act - As of January 1, 2011, a new law to protect law enforcement officers and emergency workers who are stopped along roadways while performing their duties called the Move Over Act is in effect. Under the law, drivers must use due care when approaching an emergency vehicle that displays red and/or white emergency lighting, and must Reduce speeds on all roads and highways, and on parkways, expressways and other controlled access highways with multiple lanes, drivers must move from the lane immediately adjacent to the emergency vehicle, unless traffic or other hazards exist to prevent doing so safely.
To contact the Suffolk County Police Department regarding any information contained in this newsletter, please visit our website at www.suffolkpd.org, or call our Community Outreach Bureau at (631) 852-6109.