Press Release

For Immediate Release


New PSA highlights the importance of winter weather preparation

December 5, 2018 — To help prepare New Yorkers ahead of the official start of the 2018 winter season, the New York City Emergency Management Department and New York Cares today distributed more than 300 winter coats at the Salvation Army in Harlem. New York City Emergency Management and New York Cares also collaborated to release a Public Service Announcement (PSA) highlighting the importance of winter weather preparation and providing information on donating coats to New Yorkers in need. This is part of NYC Emergency Management's initiative to help inform New Yorkers about winter preparedness ahead of the official start of the winter season, December 21.

"Each winter, many New Yorkers face the extreme cold without a warm coat. Prolonged can lead to hypothermia, frostbite, and can worsen existing medical conditions," said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. "It's important to look out for vulnerable New Yorkers. You can make a difference by donating a coat to someone in need."

"As winter approaches and temperatures drop, it is more important than ever to help the countless New Yorkers who are without protection from the cold," said New York Cares Executive Director Gary Bagley. "We are so pleased to partner with the New York City Emergency Management Department to provide this protection, which also enables these individuals to get to work each day and make a living."

"With the weather in New York City just getting colder and colder, it is our responsibility as New Yorkers to check up on one another and make sure everyone stays warm and safe this winter. I encourage all New Yorkers to give back this holiday season and donate coats to New York Cares' 30th Annual Coat Drive, and I thank NYC Emergency Management and NY Cares for spearheading this initiative for 30 years and counting," said New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

Each year, the New York City Emergency Management Department collects new and gently used coats to donate to the New York Cares Coat Drive. This year, New York Cares aims to collect and distribute more than 130,000 coats, which is estimated to be only a fraction of the total need for coats that exists throughout the city. Through December 31, individuals can donate new or gently used, freshly laundered coats at hundreds of locations throughout the five boroughs including all NYC Police Precincts, nearly two hundred Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association (GNYADA) locations, and major transit hubs. For a full list of drop-off sites and other ways to keep New Yorkers warm, visit New Yorkers can also participate in the 2018 New York Cares Coat Drive by texting the word "COAT" to 41444 to donate $20, or in increments of $20, to help purchase and deliver new coats to New Yorkers

To ensure that New Yorkers are prepared for the upcoming winter season, New York Cares and New York City Emergency Management also partnered to release a new Public Service Announcement (PSA). The PSA gives New Yorkers information on how they can donate coats as well as shares tips on how individuals can prepare for the upcoming winter season. The PSA will debut on Taxi TV on December 10, and will air on NYC Media, including WNYE-TV and WNYE-FM 91.5, throughout the winter season. New Yorkers can also view the PSA on NYC Emergency Management's social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or at The PSA is available in both English and Spanish.

About New York Cares

New York Cares is the largest volunteer network in the city. Last year, nearly 65,000 New Yorkers made the city a better place by volunteering in New York Cares programs at about 1,300 nonprofits and schools – improving education, meeting immediate needs, and revitalizing public spaces. For more information, visit

Tips to prepare for winter weather:

Make a Plan

  • Make sure your household disaster plan is ready and all members of your household are familiar with how to contact one another in an emergency.
  • Winterize your Go Bag by adding a blanket, warm socks and gloves.
  • Your emergency supply kit should be fully stocked to allow you to sustain yourself for up to three days without power, or in the event you are unable to travel far from home. You may wish to include additional items such as extra blankets, additional warm clothing, and a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio to monitor weather conditions during a storm.

Winterize Your Home

  • Install storm shutters, doors and windows; clean out gutters, repair any roof leaks, and have a contractor check the stability of your roof in the event of a large accumulation of snow.
  • Insulate walls and attic. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows. Install storm windows, or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
  • Have safe emergency heating equipment available. For residences with functioning fireplaces, keep an ample supply of wood.
  • Install and check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel; you may have difficulty obtaining fuel in the immediate aftermath of a bad storm.  Service snow removal equipment, and have rock salt on hand to melt ice on walkways. Kitty litter can be used to generate temporary traction.

Winterize Your Car

Make sure to have a mechanic check the following items on your vehicle:

  • Battery
  • Antifreeze
  • Windshield wipers and washer fluid
  • Ignition system
  • Thermostat
  • Lights (headlamps and hazard lights)
  • Exhaust system, heater, brakes, defroster
  • Oil level (if necessary, replace oil with a winter oil or SAE 10w/30 variety)

Assemble an emergency supply kit for your vehicle, and consider adding the following items for winter conditions:

  • Blankets, sleeping bags, extra newspapers for insulation.
  • Plastic bags (for sanitation)
  • Extra mittens, socks, scarves and hat, raingear and extra clothes
  • Sack of sand or kitty litter for gaining traction under wheels, small shovel
  • Set of tire chains or traction mats
  • Working jack and lug wrench, spare tire
  • Windshield scraper, broom.
  • Small tools (pliers, wrench, screwdriver)
  • Booster cables
  • Brightly colored cloth to use as a flag, flares or reflective triangles

For more winter weather preparedness information, visit New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City's free emergency communications program. To sign up for Notify NYC, download the free mobile application, visit, call 311, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.


MEDIA CONTACT: Omar Bourne/Tashawn Brown (718) 422-4888 
STAY CONNECTED: Twitter: @NotifyNYC (emergency notifications); @nycemergencymgt (emergency preparedness info); Facebook: /NYCemergencymanagement