The New York City Emergency Management Department today issued a hazardous travel advisory for Wednesday, March 7, 2018. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for New York City in effect from 10 p.m. Tuesday through 4 a.m. Thursday, March 8, 2018. According to the National Weather Service, a nor’easter is expected to bring a wintry mix of rain and snow late Tuesday, before changing over to snow early Wednesday morning. The heaviest period of snow is forecast for Wednesday afternoon through the evening commute. Snow is expected to end Wednesday night. A total of 6 to 10 inches of snow is expected, with locally higher amounts possible. High winds are also in the forecast, with sustained winds 15 mph to 25 mph, and gusts up to 40 mph.
A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions will make travel extremely hazardous. Commuters are advised to use mass transit where possible. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency, and exercise extreme caution when driving, walking or biking.
“Mother nature’s March madness continues as another nor’easter is forecast to bring snow that will make travel dangerous on Wednesday,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “New Yorkers should take mass transit if possible and allow for extra travel time.”
NYC Emergency Management
- NYC Emergency Management is working closely with the National Weather Service to monitor the storm’s track to determine the impacts to New York City.
- NYC Emergency Management will activate the City’s Emergency Operations Center on Wednesday to coordinate the City’s response to the storm.
- NYC Emergency Management is hosting daily interagency conference calls with City and state agencies and public and private partners to coordinate the City’s preparations for the storm.
Department of Sanitation
- The NYC Department of Sanitation is pre-deploying 693 salt spreaders. DSNY will activate PlowNYC and will dispatch 1500 plows when more than two inches of snow accumulates, with additional plows available if necessary.
- DSNY will assign 2,400 workers per shift. Workers were assigned to 12-hour shifts beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday, March 6.
- DSNY has 234,000 tons of rock salt on hand.
- Normal garbage/recycling collections are scheduled for Wednesday, March 7, but may be delayed depending on snowfall amounts.
- Alternate Side Parking Regulations are suspended for Wednesday, March 7, and Thursday March 8, 2018, to facilitate snow removal operations. Payment at parking meters will remain in effect throughout the City.
Department of Transportation
- DOT will assist DSNY with snow removal starting tomorrow, Wednesday, March 5, at 7:00 a.m.
- DOT’s Bridges Division will pre-deploy crews to East River Bridges.
- DOT’s Arterial, Parking and Citywide Concrete Units, will pre-treat and monitor pedestrian overpasses, muni lots and step streets.
- Crews from JC Decaux are pre-treating bus shelters.
- DOT will monitor conditions on the citywide Transportation network at the Joint Transportation Management Center with State DOT and NYPD, and coordinate efforts to address any issues.
- Staten Island Ferry will operate on a modified schedule and passengers should allow for extra travel time. DOT’s Ferry Division will pre-treat and clear walkways at the Staten Island Ferry terminals.
Economic Development Corporation
- NYC Ferry service may be impacted by winter storm conditions, and riders should prepare for potential weather-related delays. Service changes and/or suspensions will be posted on www.ferry.nyc and announced via social media, app notifications, and email.
Department of Buildings
- DOB issued a weather advisory reminding property owners, contractors and crane operators to take precautionary measures and secure their construction sites, buildings, and equipment during high winds.
- The Department will be performing random spot-check inspections of construction sites around the City. If sites are not secured, the Department will take immediate enforcement action — issuing violations and Stop Work Orders, where necessary.
To safeguard construction sites, builders, contractors, and developers should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:
- Tie down and secure material and loose debris at construction sites.
- Cover electrical equipment from exposure to the weather.
- Secure netting, scaffolding, and sidewalk sheds.
- Clear icicles and vulnerable snow masses from sidewalk sheds, and supported and suspended scaffolds.
- Clear roofs, overhangs and gutters of melting snow and ice.
- Brace and secure construction fences.
- Call 911 if there is an emergency on a construction site.
To secure a building, property owners should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:
- Bring inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools, and toys.
- Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills, or propane tanks.
- Secure and clear roofs, awnings, umbrellas, and overhangs of melting snow and ice.
- Ensure gutters are clear of debris to allow drainage.
- Secure retractable awnings.
- Parks will support the DSNY street plowing operation, lending 44 plows with operators.
- Parks will activate 1,300 staff, 132 plow vehicles, 167 salt spreaders, 257 snow blowers and brushes, and other equipment for snow removal on park perimeters.
Department of Social Services
A Code Blue Weather Emergency notice is issued when the temperature is forecast to drop to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or less between 4 p.m. and 8 a.m., including National Weather Service calculations for wind chill values. No one who is homeless and seeking shelter in New York City during a Code Blue will be denied. Should you see an individual who appears to be homeless and in need out in the cold, please call 311 and an outreach team will be dispatched to offer assistance. During Code Blue Weather emergencies, experienced outreach teams work to connect homeless New Yorkers with the following resources:
- Shelters: During a Code Blue, shelter is available system-wide to accommodate anyone who is reasonably believed to be homeless and is brought to a shelter by outreach teams. Accommodations are also available for walk-ins.
- Drop-in centers: All drop-in centers are open 24-hours per day, including when Code Blue procedures are in effect, and will assist as many people as possible for the duration of the emergency. Drop-in staff and the dedicated outreach teams they work closely with every day can also make arrangements for homeless individuals at other citywide facilities.
- Safe havens and stabilization beds: Chronically homeless individuals may be transported directly to these low-threshold housing programs.
- Street homeless outreach: Teams will contact vulnerable individuals on their Code Blue Priority Lists a minimum of once every four (4) hours beginning at 8 p.m. during Code Blue Alerts and once every two (2) hours beginning at 8 p.m. for Enhanced Code Blue Alerts to encourage them to accept services, including transportation to a shelter placement. DSS coordinates borough-level Code Blue efforts directly with partner City agencies, including but not limited to NYPD, DSNY, and the Parks Department.
Department for the Aging
- Seniors should contact their local center before leaving home, as senior centers may close on a case-by-case basis.
- Case-management clients are receiving additional meals, and social workers are calling high-risk clients to assess and address clients’ needs in advance of the storm.
- NYCHA’s Office of Emergency Management has activated a Situation Room to manage response to the storm. This will be staffed with different departments from across the agency to ensure situational awareness, incident tracking, and response coordination.
- NYCHA’s Heating Services Department is adding additional staff overnight starting at 4 p.m. today. This includes increasing normal heating staff after hours on Tuesday and Wednesday from 15 to 21 teams, adding four Oil Burner Mechanic teams, each with a supervisor each, and adding four Roving Teams from midnight to 8 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
- NYCHA Property Management will have staff briefed and prepped to activate the snow-removal procedures. NYCHA’s Customer Contact Center is adding additional staff to handle increased call volume for residents experiencing issues.
Department of Environmental Protection
- DEP will deploy resources to assist DSNY with snow removal and will pre-position staff to ensure critical wastewater treatment and drinking water functions continue without interruption.
Winter Storm Safety Tips
- Use mass transit where possible. If you have to drive, drive slowly. Vehicles take longer to stop on snow and ice than on dry pavement.
- Four-wheel drive vehicles may make it easier to drive on snow-covered roads, but they do not stop quicker than other vehicles.
- Use major streets or highways for travel whenever possible.
- Know your vehicle’s braking system. Vehicles with anti-lock brakes require a different braking technique than vehicles without anti-lock brakes in snowy conditions.
- If you are driving and begin to skid, ease your foot off the gas and steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go. Straighten the wheel when the car moves in the desired direction. If you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply steady pressure to the brake pedal. Never pump the brakes on an ABS equipped vehicle.
- Try to keep your vehicle’s gas tank as full as possible.
- Keep the name and phone number of at least one local towing service in your car in case you break down or become stuck.
- Exercise caution and avoid slippery surfaces; some ice may not be visible. Wear sturdy boots that provide traction to reduce slipping. Use handrails when using stairs.
- Seniors should take extra care outdoors to avoid slips and falls.
- Have heightened awareness of cars, particularly when approaching or crossing intersections.
- If you have to go outdoors, wear dry, warm clothing and cover exposed skin. Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered. Wear a hat, hood, scarf, and gloves.
- Be careful when shoveling snow. Follow your doctor’s advice if you have heart disease or high blood pressure. Cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart.
- Stay informed. Before and during an emergency, the City will send emergency alerts and updates to New Yorkers through various channels, including Notify NYC. 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 NYC.gov/NotifyNYC, call 311, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.
- Charge cell phone batteries.
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to a colder setting. If you lose power, items that need refrigeration will stay cooler for longer.
- If you lose power & have a disability/access and functional needs or use Life Sustaining Equipment (LSE) & need immediate assistance, dial 911.
For more information, visit nyc.gov/emergencymanagement. New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency communications program, for the latest information and updates on this storm and emergency events in NYC. To sign up for Notify NYC, download the free mobile application, visit NYC.gov/NotifyNYC, call 311, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.