January 20, 2016
***Media Availability: Emergency Management Department Commissioner Joseph Esposito will be available for interviews on winter weather preparedness from 11AM to 11:30AM at OEM Headquarters. Please contact NSilvestri@oem.nyc.gov for details.***
NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio and Emergency Management Department Commissioner Esposito today launched a new public service video announcement with the New York Islanders to prepare New Yorkers for winter weather hazards.
“We want to make sure every New Yorker has a plan for winter weather and is fully prepared in case of a storm,” said Mayor de Blasio. “From our elderly residents to our youngest students, we want to keep every New Yorker safe and warm through the coldest months – and these important tips will help get our city ready for the winter season.”
From battling dangerously cold temperatures to travel safety and snow removal, the new video offers New Yorkers tips on staying safe during the winter. The video also features players from the New York Islanders who encourage New Yorkers to dust off their household emergency plans and to stay prepared for snow, ice, and frigid temperatures that winter often brings.
“We’ve had bitterly cold weather this week and snow is in the forecast, so we want New Yorkers to make sure they’re fully prepared for all that winter may bring,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “This video reminds New Yorkers to get ready and stay ready during the season. We also want to thank the New York Islanders for working with us to help make sure that everyone is prepared and stays safe when they have to go out and face the elements.”
“It’s fitting that the Islanders play a role in helping New Yorkers stay safe during the colder months and navigate the icy conditions, our team’s specialty,” said Elisa Padilla, Chief Marketing Officer of Barclays Center, home of the New York Islanders. “Thank you to NYC Emergency Management for inviting the Islanders to be a part of the winter weather public service announcement.”
New York City Emergency Management also reminds New Yorkers to help others who may be at increased risk of health problems. Homeless individuals not in shelters, people working outdoors, and those in homes or apartments with inadequate heat are most likely to be exposed to dangerous cold. Seniors, infants, people with chronic cardiovascular or lung conditions, people using alcohol or drugs and people with cognitive impairments such as dementia, serious mental illness or developmental disability are at increased risk. Winter precipitation can also cause dangerous street conditions, and motorists and pedestrians are asked to take extra precautions when traveling.
New Yorkers are reminded to:
Make a Plan
Winterize Your Home
Winterize Your Car
Make sure to have a mechanic check the following items on your vehicle:
Install good winter tires that have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require vehicles to be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.
Regardless of the season, it's a good idea to prepare for an in-car emergency. Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit for your vehicle, and consider adding the following items for winter conditions:
Tips for Staying Warm
Exposure to cold can cause life-threatening health conditions. Avoid serious conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia, by keeping warm.
What to Do if You Lose Heat or Hot Water at Home
Building owners are legally required to provide heat and hot water to their tenants. Hot water must be provided 365 days per year at a constant minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat must be provided during the “Heat Season”, between October 1st and May 31st under the following conditions:
Any New York City tenant without adequate heat or hot water should first speak with the building owner, manager, or superintendent. If the problem is not corrected, tenants should call 311. For the hearing impaired, the TTY number is (212) 504-4115. The Center is open 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. You may also file a complaint at 311ONLINE for heat and hot water conditions.
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will take measures to ensure that the building owner is complying with the law. This may include contacting the building’s owner and/or sending an inspector to verify the complaint and issue a violation directing the owner to restore heat and hot water if appropriate. If the owner fails to comply and does not restore service, HPD may initiate repairs through its Emergency Repair Program and bill the landlord for the cost of the work. HPD also may initiate legal action against properties that are issued heat violations, and owners who incur multiple heat violations are subject to litigation seeking maximum litigation penalties and to continued scrutiny on heat and other code deficiencies.
Take measures to trap existing warm air and safely stay warm until heat returns, including:
Safe Home Heating Tips
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.
Fire safety tips:
Carbon monoxide safety tips:
If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911, get the victim to fresh air immediately, and open windows.
If a carbon monoxide detector goes off in your home, call 911, quickly open a nearby window, and go outside for fresh air immediately.
Homeless New Yorkers
New Yorkers should call 911 if they see someone in need of medical assistance, and 311 to have a HOME-STAT outreach team engage a homeless individual about going to a shelter and receiving homelessness services. A Code Blue Weather Emergency notice is issued when the weather drops to 32 degrees or below. Code Blue Weather Emergencies includes the following options for the homeless:
Staying in Touch with New York City Emergency Management
New York City Emergency Management communicates directly with the public through a variety of tools, including Notify NYC. This is just one way the City of New York communicates urgent information to city residents. In addition to sending e-mails, text messages, and phone calls, the emergency notification office has the ability to activate NYC's Emergency Alert System (EAS), which sends information immediately via television and radio. Residents can also visit Facebook, Twitter, and the agency's website, nyc.gov/oem for more information. The public can sign up for Notify NYC by calling 311 or going to www.NYC.gov/notifynyc.