Archives of the Mayor's Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: Wednesday, March 4, 2001
Release # 067-01
||Sunny Mindel/Curt Ritter
||Peter Fenty (Sanitation)
||Frank McCarton (OEM)
Tom Cocola (Transportation)
MAYOR GIULIANI URGES NEW YORKERS TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS
AS WINTER NOR'EASTER STORM APPROACHES
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani--joined by Sanitation Commissioner Kevin Farrell and
Office of Emergency Management Director Richard J. Sheirer, and Transportation
Commissioner Iris Weinshall--today urged New Yorkers to take the necessary precautions
to safeguard their families and property from the potential impact of the approaching
Mayor Giuliani said, "The National Weather Service has issued a Winter
Storm Warning for the New York City metropolitan area. I urge all New Yorkers
to take the necessary precautions, and I urge them to keep themselves updated
on radio and television as to the storm progresses. City officials will be issuing
updates as information become available at the Command Center. The City's Emergency
Operation Center will be activated at xx am on DAY and will continue
to operate around the clock.
"No other City in the country is better prepared or better equipped to
deal with weather conditions of this kind. Our record is exemplary, and I have
full confidence that, working together, all of the relevant City agencies will
rise to the challenge and minimize the effects of this snowfall to the extent
possible," the Mayor continued.
Sanitation Commissioner Farrell said, "Even in the very worst of snowstorms,
the Department of Sanitation keeps New York City moving. As we have shown in
the most recent snowstorms, we are working hard to extend that record of success.
But we are also asking that New Yorkers stay off the roadways once the snow
begins, to allow us to plow the streets more efficiently. Please stay home if
you can, and if you must travel, please use public transportation." Commissioner
Farrell added, "We are also asking New Yorkers to anticipate the possibility
of a snow emergency being put into effect. People should not park their cars
on streets designated as Snow Emergency Routes."
OEM Director Sheirer said, "Preparedness is a key factor in dealing with
any emergency. Numerous precautions can be taken to make sure that the risk
of danger or injury is minimized during and after this potentially dangerous
storm. The Mayor and I urge all New Yorkers to follow the precautions listed."
DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall said, "We are committed to working with
the Office of Emergency Management, Department of Sanitation, and NYPD to ensure
public safety. I strongly urge everyone to utilize mass transportation, if travel
is necessary this holiday weekend, and please use caution."
WHAT TO DO BEFORE A STORM STRIKES
Stay tuned for storm warnings: Listen to NOAA Weather Radio and your local
radio and TV stations for updated storm information.
Know what winter storm WATCHES and WARNINGS mean:
- A WINTER STORM WATCH means a winter storm is possible in your area.
- A WINTER STORM WARNING means a winter storm is headed for your area.
- A BLIZZARD WARNING means strong winds, blinding wind-driven snow, and dangerous
wind chills are expected for several hours.
Prepare a winter storm plan and a disaster supplies kit containing:
- Extra blankets.
- A warm coat, gloves or mittens, hat, and water-resistant boots for
each member of your family.
- First aid kit and essential medications.
- Battery-powered NOAA Weather radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
- Canned food and manual can opener.
- Bottled water (at least one gallon of water per person per day for
at least 3 days).
- Extra warm clothing, including boots, mittens, and a hat, because winter
clothing often gets wet.
You should also:
- Have your car winterized before winter storm season, and assemble a
disaster supplies kit for your car as well.
- Service snow removal equipment, and have rock salt on hand to melt
ice on walkways. Kitty litter can be used to generate temporary traction.
- Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel; Regular fuel sources may
be cut off.
- Winterize your home: Insulate walls and attic; caulk and weather-strip
doors and windows; install storm windows, or cover windows with plastic from
- Have safe emergency heating equipment available: For residences with
functioning fireplaces, keep an ample supply of wood; utilize portable electric
- Install and check smoke detectors.
- Keep pipes from freezing: Wrap pipes in insulation or layers of old
newspapers; cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture; let faucets
drip a little to help prevent freezing; know how to shut off water valves.
- Develop a family communication plan. In case family members are separated
from one another during a winter storm (a real possibility during the day, when
adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back
- Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serves as the "family
contact." During and after an incident, it's often easier to call long
distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address, and phone number of the
- Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a severe
winter storm. Teach children how and when to call 911, the Police and Fire Departments,
and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
- Check in on relatives, friends, and neighbors who may need assistance
preparing for a storm.
- When a winter storm WATCH or WARNING is issued: Listen to NOAA Radio,
local radio, and TV stations, or cable TV such as The Weather Channel for updates.
Be alert to changing weather conditions and avoid unnecessary travel.
WHAT TO DO DURING A STORM
If you are outside:
- Dress Warmly - Wear loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing. Several
layers of lightweight clothing will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat.
Layers can also be removed to prevent perspiration and chill. Outer garments
should be tightly woven and water repellent.
- Medical Health - If you have any medical conditions that could prevent
you from outside activities, speak to your physician to see if it is recommended
that you perform these activities.
- Cover Your Extremities - With cold temperatures it is very important
that you cover your hands, feet and head, as warmth is lost rapidly through
these body areas. Don't wear earrings or necklaces as these metals cause these
areas to get colder faster. Mittens are warmer than gloves because fingers generate
warmth when they touch each other.
- Don't Drink Alcoholic Beverages - The perception that Alcoholic Beverages
keep you warm in cold weather is a falsehood. In fact, the drinking of these
beverages in a cold winter environment effects your body's ability to stay warm.
It also prevents you from realizing that the cold weather is effecting you.
- Don't smoke - Smoking outside in a cold environment reduces your body's
ability to stay warm. It allows cold air into your lungs and reduces blood flow
to your feet, arms and head causing you to get colder faster.
- 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. Try not to speak unless absolutely necessary.
- 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 When Shoveling Snow - Do not cover
fire hydrants with snow when clearing sidewalks and driveways; do not shovel
snow into manholes and catch basins.
- Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance:
infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities.
If you are inside:
- Stay indoors and dress warmly.
- Conserve Fuel - Lower the thermostat to 65 degrees during the day and
55 degrees at night. Close off unused rooms.
- If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers
and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over
the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold
was most likely to penetrate).
- Listen to the radio or television to get the latest information.
- Check in with neighbors, friends, or relatives who may need your help.
If The Power Goes Off:
- Use a battery-powered radio to find out official information about
- Turn off electrical appliances that were on when the power went off
to avoid a power surge and possible damage to them when power is restored.
- If power will be out a long time, consider going to a Red Cross shelter,
hotel, or someone else's home ONLY after the roads are passable and authorities
say it is safe to travel.
- Use flashlights to see. Do not use candles because they greatly increase
the chances of having a fire in your home. Candles are easily forgotten or knocked
over, and it's too easy for children to play with them when you're not looking.
Safety Tips For Portable Space Heating Equipment
- Use equipment that is approved for indoor use.
- Keep combustible materials, including furniture, drapes, and carpeting
at least 3 feet away from the heat source.
- Always keep an eye on the equipment. Never leave children alone in
the room where a space heater is running. Turn it off when you are unable to
closely monitor it.
- Dry mittens, gloves, socks, and scarves in a clothes dryer. NEVER drape
them over a space heater to dry.
More information on this Winter Storm and other related advisories, please visit
the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management web site at nyc.gov/oem.
If a snow emergency is declared, the following restrictions will go into
effect on the City's network of 250 snow emergency streets and routes:
- Parking and standing will be banned on snow emergency streets.
- Use of parking meters on these streets will be prohibited.
- Any vehicles now parked on these streets must be removed by the time
of the emergency.
- Any vehicle parked on a snow emergency street is subject to ticketing
- All arterial streets are snow emergency streets and all limited access expressways
and parkways are snow emergency routes. They are identified by red signs with
In the event of a snow emergency declaration by the Department of Transportation,
Alternate Side Parking (ASP) regulations will be suspended. Any parking restrictions,
which normally precede or follow the alternate side regulations, will remain
in effect. There would be no suspension of parking meter or no standing regulations
on other arterials.
In preparation for the possible snow emergency, the Department of Transportation
will do the following:
- Deploy five anti-icing spray trucks along the four East River Bridges
to prevent the snow from sticking to the roadways. (Two trucks at Queensboro
Bridge; and one each for the Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.)
- DOT crews will also be on hand for snow removal on our movable bridges.
- 76 trucks will be provided to the Department of Sanitation for snow
removal. Crews will be working in two 12-hour shifts.
- Extra personnel will be on hand to monitor the flow of traffic on our
roadways, arterials and bridges. They will be stationed at Traffic Management
Center in Queens, and also at the OEM Command Center in Lower Manhattan.
- Ferry service should run on a normal schedule, however be advised that
the US Coast Guard, which monitors New York Harbor, has the discretion to suspend
car-carrying ferry service due to high winds. Individuals can call CALL-DOT
(212 and 718 area codes) for ferry information.
The DOT's franchised buses will operate on a normal weekend schedule. Please
contact: Command Bus Company at (718) 277-8100; Green Bus Lines at (718) 474-9459;
Jamaica Buses at (718) 526-0800; Liberty Lines Express at (718) 652-8400; New
York Bus Service at (718) 994-5500; Queens Surface Corp. at (718) 445-3100;
Triboro Coach Corp. at (718) 335-1000.
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