Race for Prison Reform

Countdown Begins for Race for Criminal Rehabilitation

By David Greene

BRONX– Prison reform advocates, organizers and supporters of a pilot program that began last spring assisting those recently released from prison, with ways to more easily transition back into the community, held a kick-off for The Second Annual Race for Re-Entry 5-K Walk, Run and Ride that will kick-off in Soundview Park on Saturday, April 21. 

Organizers announced a host of events ending with the 5-K event, its new sponsors and celebrated the launching of a new website allowing online registrations during a “Meet up” on Friday, March 9, at the Manhattan College of New York, located at 463 East 149 Street in the Hub.

According to Jen Lackard, the founder and program manager for the New York Area Re-Entry Meetup, explained, “The race for Re-Entry is a community collaborative which sits at the intersection of public health and public safety.”

Lackard added, “The Race for Re-Entry was created as a response to the disproportionate impact of mass incarceration in the borough with over 15,000 arrests in Bronx county each year.”

The March 9 “meetup” was a social gathering joining members of law enforcement, criminal justice professionals, local non-profits, employers and housing providers who connect and discuss problems and solutions to the difficult issue of criminal rehabilitation effectiveness and keeping returning offenders from returning to jail.

In a promotional video for the group made last year, Assemblyman and Bronx Democratic Party Chair Marcos Crespo said of the program, “This amazing organization that has brought people together over a period of a week for a number of events to celebrate, support and empower those who have come across the criminal justice system and their loved ones around them.”

Crespo added, “We can create better opportunities and open more doors and make sure that all of us are moving forward together.”

Those wishing to participate in the 5-K are encouraged to participate in a “fit camp,” to prepare walkers, joggers and runners with free membership at the Bronx YMCA on Castle Hill Avenue, between March 19 and April 19.

On Saturday, April 14, the group’s Community Hoops Event comes to the Sotomayor Houses Center, located at 1000 Rosedale Avenue. The event will feature a youth game at 10 a.m., a wheelchair game at 11:30 a.m., a woman’s game a 1 p.m. and a men’s game at 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 21 is the Youth 5-K Walk, Run and Ride, which kicks off at 8 a.m. at Lafayette Avenue and Soundview Avenue and ends at the YMCA on Soundview Avenue.

After the 5-K event, the group will host a Youth Resource Fair, beginning at 10 a.m. at the YMCA, located at 2 Castle Hill Avenue.

Those wishing to participate in the upcoming activities can register at the Race For Re-Entry website: www.race4reentry.com or by calling (347) 850-RACE.

On February 14, Mayor Bill de Blalsio announced plans for a new jail to be built at 320 Concord Avenue in Mott Haven, the current site of an NYPD vehicle impound yard. While other jails across the city will be expanded, the new Bronx jail will be the only new prison built as part of the mayor’s 10-year plan to close the infamous Rikers Island.

Snowday- Snowstorm Hits New York

Spring Snowstorm Pounds Area with Little Accumulation

By David Greene

BRONX- Meteorologists are again eating crow as predictions of 6 inches to more than a foot for the fourth nor'easter in as many weeks-- appeared to have produced closer to just 3 inches in a storm that arrived on the first full day of spring.

Winter Storm "Toby" arrived at after 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 21 and continued to snow for the better part of the next 21 hours, with little accumulation.

According to the National Weather Service, the heaviest snow in the five boroughs was reported on Staten Island with 13.8 inches, followed by Queens with 13.7, Brooklyn 12.7, Manhattan 10, followed by the Riverdale section of the Bronx with 5.5 inches.

New Jersey Transit was suspended at 3 p.m. Wednesday and more than 4,000 flights across the country were cancelled due to the storm. Two traffic deaths related to the storm were reported in New Jersey and on Long Island.

The New York City Department of Sanitation reports that 2,400 workers will work in 12-hour shifts using 1,600 plows and 693 salt spreaders-- a job that will continue until all the roads are cleared.   

FDNY Remembers EMT Tragically Killed

(Photo by David Greene)

Slain EMT Remembered
FDNY Remembers EMT Tragically Killed

By David Greene

BRONX- More than 100 off-duty fireman and paramedics joined friends and family members to remember a fallen EMT. Yadira Arroyo, 44, was murdered by a deranged man who attempted to steal her ambulance one year earlier.

Arroyo, a 14-year member of the FDNY died as she attempted to stop Jose Rodriguez from stealing the FDNY ambulance on March 16, 2017, at the corner of White Plains Road and Watson Avenue.

On March 16 members once again gathered at the intersection where she was killed. Oren Barzilay, President of The Uniformed EMT's, Paramedics and Inspectors Union Local 2507, told mourners, “On this day we mourn our loss and acknowledge our heroic actions, the heroic actions of all EMT's, paramedics and fire inspectors across our city who are keeping New Yorkers safe and secure.”

Barzilay continued, “We will continue our fight for justice against the murderer who took her away from her family, her kids and her extended FDNY family.”

He then told the family members in attendance, "We will always be with you guys.”

Members of Community Board # 9 are pushing for the renaming of a park in honor of Arroyo.

Rodriguez, 25, was charged with several crimes, including first degree murder and remains held without bail. Rodriguez is due back in court on April 4.   



Deploys 300 New York National Guard Service Members to Help Areas Impacted by Winter Weather

Directs Rapid Response Teams to be Prepared for Downed Wires, Power Outages Due to Potential Wind Gusts and Heavy, Wet Snowfall

Activates State Emergency Operations Center and Urges New Yorkers to Prepare for Winter Weather Through Wednesday Evening

Tractor Trailers Banned on New York State Thruway from Exit 17 in Newburgh to the New York City Line

Other Tractor Trailer Restrictions Include Portions of I-84, I-684, I-287, and I-95

NEW YORK- Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today declared a state of emergency for Putnam, Rockland, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties, and all of New York City ahead of the coastal storm, which is expected to bring heavy, wet snow downstate through Wednesday evening. 

The Governor also announced 300 New York National Guard service members have been activated and will be deployed to areas impacted by the storm. Following recent weather events, the Governor directed rapid response teams comprised of Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North and utility company personnel to be prepared to address downed wires or power failures. The utility companies are partnering with the LIRR and Metro-North to deploy to weather incidents as they arise, and restore power as quickly as possible to New Yorkers.

The Governor also activated the State Emergency Operations Center. A combination of wet, heavy snow, winds of 20 - 30 mph, and gusts up to 45 mph is expected. Snow accumulations will range from 10 to 15 inches in the lower Mid-Hudson Valley and in New York City, with up to 18 inches in the Metro New York City area, and 4 to 10 inches of accumulation forecasted on Long Island with higher amounts in Suffolk County. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are possible Wednesday afternoon, which will make driving conditions very dangerous as wet, heavy snow is expected.

"As Mother Nature once again tests our great state, we have taken proactive measures in anticipation of the storm's heavy, wet snow that could impact power lines and cause dangerous travel conditions," Governor Cuomo said. "I have activated the State Emergency Operations Center, National Guard members are being deployed, and I am urging New Yorkers to plan ahead for the harsh weather conditions expected throughout the rest of the day.”
Minor to moderate coastal flooding is also possible along the south shore of western Long Island during high tide Wednesday mid-day. An updated listing of Weather Watches and Warnings from the National Weather Service can be found here.

Earlier today, the Governor announced a travel ban for tractor trailers on certain roads went into effect Wednesday, March 21 at 8 a.m. Tractor trailers, and short and long tandems trailers, are restricted from entering:

I-84 from PA line to CT line

I-684 from I-84 to Hutchinson River Parkway

Thruway from I-84 (exit 17/Newburgh) to Exit 1 (NYC line)

I-287 Exit 1-12
I-95 NYC line to CT line

A toll-free hotline for updates on weather and power outage restoration times is available at 866-697-2434

In addition, the State Emergency Operations Center has been activated for enhanced monitoring for the duration of the storm.

State Agency Preparations

All New Yorkers can obtain emergency information through NY-ALERT, the state's free, all-hazards, web-based alert and notification system. To subscribe, visit nyalert.gov. If you do not own or have access to a computer, call toll-free 1-888-697-6972.

New York's Division of Military and Naval Affairs

The New York National Guard has 300 service members on standby downstate. The soldiers are prepared to provide assistance to local governments with four-wheel drive vehicles if necessary.

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

The Division's Office of Emergency Management was activated on Wednesday at 8 a.m. for enhanced monitoring, and Division personnel have been in contact with local and county emergency management partners in the path of the storm. Regional staff will be deployed to the Nassau County, Suffolk County, and New York City Emergency Operations Centers to support state and local response efforts. State stockpiles are prepared with over 700 generators, nearly 250 light towers, approximately 1,300 pumps, nearly 1,000,000 sandbags, more than 56,300 ready-to-eat meals, more than 430,000 cans and bottles of water, more than 4,000 flashlights, thousands of cots, blankets and pillows, nearly 1,000 traffic barriers, and more than 7,000 feet of Aqua Dam temporary flood barrier. Additionally, the Division is prepared with high-axle vehicles, utility tracked vehicles, and a tracked sport utility vehicle.

State Department of Public Service

New York's utilities have added 1,700 line workers and tree and service workers to their existing base of 3,800 workers for restoration efforts, if needed. Crews are being moved to the areas that are expected to have the greatest storm impact. Several hundred additional utility workers are expected to arrive by the end of the day, which would bring the overall total to 6,100 workers. The Department has directed utilities to dedicate resources to work with each county to assist in clearing downed-wire road closures. Utilities will continue to prioritize repairs based on restoring the greatest number of customers, which will be done in parallel with helping local governments to clear roads for public safety. In addition, all the utilities have identified points of contact with the LIRR and Metro North to ensure a coordinated and rapid response to issues affecting railroads.

The Department of Public Service has extended Call Center Helpline hours until 7:30 p.m. today, and continuing Thursday, March 22 starting at 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., as needed, to assist consumers in their storm restoration efforts. The Department of Public Service Call Center Helpline can be reached by calling 800-342-3377. Public Service Commission staff will continue to monitor the utilities' efforts during the restoration period. The utilities are prepared to respond to power disruptions throughout the event.

New York State Thruway Authority

The Thruway Authority has shifted resources across the state in preparation for the storm. Approximately 24 plow operators and 10 additional large plows have been deployed to the Lower Mid-Hudson Valley from other Divisions in the state. Additionally, heavy tow trucks will be staged at strategic locations in the region throughout the storm.

The Thruway Authority has 678 supervisors and operators ready to deploy 242 Large Snow Plows, 113 Medium Snow Plows, 10 Tow Plows and 54 Loaders across the state with more than 101,000 tons of road salt on hand. Variable Message Signs, Highway Advisory Radio and social media are utilized to alert motorists of winter weather conditions on the Thruway.

The Thruway Authority encourages motorists to download its mobile app which is available to download for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to real-time traffic and navigation assistance while on the go. Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert e-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway by visiting: www.thruway.ny.gov/tas/index.shtml. For real-time updates, motorists can follow @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter or by visiting www.thruway.ny.gov to see an interactive map showing traffic conditions for the Thruway and other New York State roadways.

Snowplows travel at about 35 miles per hour — which in many cases is lower than the posted speed limit — in order to ensure that salt being dispersed stays in the driving lanes and does not scatter off the roadways. The safest place for motorists is well behind the snowplows where the roadway is clear and salted.

New York State Department of Transportation

The State Department of Transportation is ready to respond with 1,555 large plow/dump trucks, 193 medium plow/dump trucks, 322 loaders, 40 truck/loader mounted snow blowers, 51 tow plows, 14 pickup trucks with plows, and 18 graders. In addition, the Department has more than 326,000 tons of road salt on hand. To address the potential for damaging, high winds, the Department also has 45 grapple attachments, 4 bulldozers, 31 excavators, 54 traffic signal trucks, 13 tree crew bucket trucks and 77 chippers.

NYSDOT has shifted resources across the state to help respond to the storm. Approximately 25 operators, five supervisors, and four tree crews have been deployed to the Mid-Hudson Valley from other parts of the state, and 60 operators, 10 supervisors, three emergency managers, 20 large plow trucks, and eight mechanics have been deployed to Long Island. DOT's Long Island Region has also activated 30 contractor large dump trucks in anticipation of the coming storm. 

Motorists are reminded to check 511NY by calling 511 or by accessing www.511ny.org before traveling. The free service allows users to check road conditions and transit information. Mobile users can download the updated, free 511NY mobile app from the iTunes or Google Play stores. The app now features Drive mode, which provides audible alerts along a chosen route while a user is driving, warning them about incidents and construction. Users can set a destination prior to departing and receive information on up to three routes.

New York State Police

The New York State Police will add additional patrols during the storm to the affected areas as needed. All 4X4 vehicles are available for deployment, and all troop emergency power and communications equipment has been tested.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

The Port Authority has made extensive preparations for personnel and equipment at all of its facilities. The agency activated its main agency-wide Emergency Operations Center in Jersey City early this morning to monitor storm conditions. Facility specific Emergency Operations Centers were activated last night at John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia airports. The Port Authority also is in contact with the states of New York and New Jersey, as well as other local and federal officials and agencies to coordinate responses to this winter storm.

As of 12 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, the following number of flights are cancelled:

644 cancellations at JFK today, which is approximately 53 percent of scheduled operations.
863 cancellations at LGA today, which is approximately 75 percent of scheduled operations.  There is no more flight activity scheduled at LGA today.

In advance of the storm, the Port Authority made plans to provide busing in the event that service on AirTrain Newark or AirTrain JFK must be suspended. 

Given the severity of the storm, travelers should check with their carriers to make sure their flight will be taking off before going to the airport today. If warranted, the Port Authority also is prepared to partner with airlines and terminal operators to accommodate ticketed passengers who may become stranded at the airports.  Each airport is stocked with critical supplies such as cots, blankets, diapers and baby formula to provide stranded customers.

At the tunnels, bridges and bus facilities, the Port Authority reports that major long haul carriers Greyhound, Shortline, Peter Pan and Bieber have cancelled service from the Port Authority Bus Terminal today.  Additional long-haul and commuter service out of the bus terminal may be cancelled as the day progresses.  Travelers should check with their carriers before going to the bus terminal.

Speed restrictions are in place at the George Washington Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing due to the severe weather.

PATH is operating regular service today, but travelers should expect possible delays in service if conditions worsen.

The Port Authority has the following winter weather equipment and supplies ready at its major transportation facilities:
524 pieces of snow equipment at its airports, including melters that can liquefy up to 500 tons of snow an hour and plows that can clear snow at 40 mph;

94 pieces of snow equipment at its bridges and tunnels;

Thousands of tons of salt and sand for airport roads and parking lots, plus thousands of tons of salt and sand for the bridges and tunnels;
Hundreds of thousands of gallons of liquid anti-ice chemicals at the airports, which prevent snow and ice from bonding to runways and taxiways, plus thousands of tons of solid de-icers, which break up snow and ice already on the ground;
Plow equipped trains, liquid snow-melting agent trains and a "jet engine" plow to remove snow from PATH tracks, and snow blowers, plows and spreaders to clear station entrances, roads that serve PATH's 13 stations, and various support facilities.

Generators and pumps have been checked to assure all are operational if needed.

New York State Power Authority

The New York Power Authority and the Canal Corporation storm preparations include weather monitoring, preparing staff for potential deployment, readying equipment for emergency use, and staffing of state Emergency Operations Centers, as needed. 

New York State Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation

New York State Parks has alerted park police and park personnel to closely monitor weather updates. Due to visitor safety concerns resulting from severe weather, including widespread ice accretion, all state parks on Long Island as well as FDR Four Freedoms in New York City are closing immediately. Park patrons should monitor www.parks.ny.gov or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings and closings.

MTA New York City Transit

New York City Transit has pre-deployed equipment and personnel in preparation for potential significant snow accumulation, with activities having begun Tuesday before snowfall. Equipment includes de-icer trains, snowthrowers and jet snowblowers for yards and tracks, debris trains to support clearing fallen trees from tracks, third-rail heaters, track switch and stop heaters, and ice-scraping shoes installed on diesel and passenger trains. Most articulated buses have been replaced by regular buses, and local buses are chained. NYC Transit also deploys snow-fighting equipment to supplement plowing efforts across the city.

Additional personnel are manning special command centers for subway, bus and Access-A-Ride paratransit operations, including posting at strategic locations to respond to problems more rapidly.  Work trains will operate in open areas to keep tracks clear of snow and ice, and construction and maintenance work may be suspended during the storm. Signal maintainers have performed winterization procedures including releasing condensation from the air line network and are clearing ice from signal stop arms. Workers are sanding and salting platforms, stairs and other station surfaces and clearing accumulation as necessary.

Subway, bus and paratransit customers should expect weather-related delays and changes in service, including selective suspensions of service, during and immediately after the storm. Paratransit customers should consider limiting travel during the storm to medically necessary trips. Some express subway service may end early on Wednesday after the evening rush, as underground express tracks are used to store trains normally kept in open yards. If conditions are severe, subway service may be limited to underground-only track.  Staten Island Railway service will run local-only for the evening rush. In the event of severely adverse road conditions, Staten Island bus customers who commute to Manhattan may consider leaving early or allowing extra travel time during or before the PM rush. All service changes will be announced to customers; for the latest service updates, visit www.mta.info, follow NYC Transit on Twitter at @NYCTSubway, @NYCTBus and @NYCTAAR, or sign up for email and text-message updates at www.myMTAalerts.com.

MTA Metro-North Railroad
On Wednesday, in order to reduce the possibility of switch trouble, Metro-North is operating a reduced weekday schedule providing 75 percent of normal capacity, with some combined/cancelled trains during the peak periods. Conditions are expected to deteriorate during the day, making travel extremely difficult or even impossible.

In the evening, Metro-North plans to further reduce its service to hourly to ensure customer safety during the storm. Metro-North may suspend service should conditions worsen.

The railroad encourages customers to travel only if necessary and urges those customers who are unable to postpone their travel until after the storm to leave as early as possible in the afternoon and leave extra time for travel. Customers should anticipate delays due to the effects of the winter storm throughout Metro-North's service territory.

For updated train schedules, customers can use the use the Metro-North Train Time App or Metro-North's interactive schedules page at http://as0.mta.info/mnr/schedules/sched_form.cfm.

STORM WATCH- NYC Issues Travel Warning

STORM WATCH- NYC Issues Travel Warning

Winter Storm Warning in effect from midnight through early Thursday morning.

Alternate Side Parking Regulations are suspended Wednesday, March 21 and Thursday, March 22; parking meters remain in effect

NEW YORK – The New York City Emergency Management Department today issued a hazardous travel advisory for Wednesday, March 21. 

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for New York City in effect from midnight through 8 a.m. Thursday, March 22. According to the National Weather Service, a nor’easter is expected to bring a wintry mix of rain, sleet, and snow to the city. Precipitation begins as a mix of rain, sleet, and snow Tuesday evening and will transition to snow overnight into Wednesday. Snow will become steadier early Wednesday during the morning commute. The heaviest period of snow is forecast for Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday night. Snow is expected to end early Thursday morning.  

The National Weather Service currently predicts a total of more than 6 inches of snow, with the potential for up to between 12 and 16 inches possible.

High winds are also in the forecast, with sustained winds 20 mph to 30 mph, and gusts up to 45 mph. The strongest winds are expected throughout the day on Wednesday. High winds continue Thursday, before subsiding early Friday morning. Temperatures Wednesday are forecast to be around freezing, with wind chill values between 15 and 20 degrees during the day, and between 20 and 25 degrees late Wednesday. Temperatures increase into the low forties on Thursday.

A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions will make travel 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.

NYC Emergency Management also advises residents living in coastal areas to prepare for the potential for coastal flooding on Wednesday. The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Advisory for the shorelines of Staten Island, Brooklyn and southern Queens in effect from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. Wednesday. Localized minor to moderate coastal flooding is possible with the hide tide cycles on Wednesday. New Yorkers living in coastal areas are advised to prepare as some roads and low-lying property may experience shallow flooding.

“The calendar may say spring, but winter is sticking around a little longer, as the fourth nor’easter in two weeks is forecast to bring snow that will make travel extremely hazardous,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “New Yorkers should take this storm seriously. If you have to go out, use mass transit where 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 nearly 1600 plows when more than two inches of snow accumulates, with additional plows available if necessary.

·   DSNY will assign 2,400 workers per shift to 12-hour shifts.

· DSNY has 227,000 tons of rock salt on hand.
· Normal garbage/recycling collections for Wednesday, March 21 may be delayed depending on snowfall amounts.

Department of Transportation

·         DOT will deploy more than 430 staffers Citywide with 389 pieces of equipment to address conditions. DOT will assist DSNY with snow removal starting Wednesday, March 21, at 7:00 a.m.

· DOT’s Bridges Division will deploy anti-icing 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.
·Alternate Side Parking Regulations are suspended for Wednesday, March 21, and Thursday March 22, to facilitate snow removal operations. Payment at parking meters will remain in effect throughout the city.
·The Staten Island Ferry is operating on a regular schedule and crews are monitoring weather conditions. Passengers should allow extra travel time on Wednesday and Thursday, in the event of weather-related delays. Passengers are encouraged to monitor our Facebook page (fb.com/statenislandferry) and sign up for email alerts at nyc.gov/siferry for the most up to date information. Crews will pre-treat and clear walkways at the Staten Island Ferry terminals. 

Economic Development Corporation

· NYC Ferry service is currently operating on a normal schedule; however, winter storm conditions may affect service. Riders should prepare for potential weather-related delays. Real-time service changes will be posted online at 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.

NYC Parks

·         Parks will support the DSNY street plowing operation, lending 44 plows with operators.
·         Parks will activate 1,300 staff, 160 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 of Housing Preservation & Development

Residential building owners are legally required to maintain indoor temperatures at 68 degrees when the temperatures fall below 55 degrees outside during the day and a minimum of 62 degrees indoors overnight, regardless of outdoor temperatures. If an apartment lacks appropriate heat, a tenant should first attempt to notify the building owner, managing agent or superintendent. If heat is not restored, the tenant should register an official complaint via 311. Tenants can call 311, visit 311 online at www.nyc.gov/311, or use the app 311Mobile (on Android and iOS devices) to file a complaint. Hearing-impaired tenants can register complaints via a Touchtone Device for the Deaf TDD at (212) 504-4115.

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 before and during the storm.


·         NYCHA’s Office of Emergency Management will activate its Situation Room to monitor the storm.
·         NYCHA Property Management will activate its snow preparation procedures to minimize impact of the storm.

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.
If you live in a flood-prone area, keep materials such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber on hand to help protect your home. 
When outside, avoid walking and driving through flooded areas. As few as six inches of moving water can knock a person over. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling. One or two feet of water can carry away a vehicle.
Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
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:
·         Make sure you have a working smoke alarm in every room. Test them at least once a month and change the batteries twice a year.
·         Use only portable heating equipment that is approved for indoor use. Space heaters are temporary heating devices and should only be used for a limited time each day.
·         Keep combustible materials, including furniture, drapes, and carpeting at least three feet away from the heat source. Never drape clothes over a space heater to dry them.
·         Never leave running space heaters unattended, especially around children. Always keep an eye on heating equipment. Turn it off when you are unable to closely monitor it.
·         Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord or power strip. Do not plug anything else into the same outlet when the space heater is in use. Do not use space heaters with frayed or damaged cords.
·         If you are going to use an electric blanket, only use one that is less than 10 years old from the date of purchase. Also avoid tucking the electric blanket in at the sides of the bed. Only purchase blankets with an automatic safety shut-off.
Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

·         Carbon monoxide comes from the burning of fuel. Therefore, make sure all fuel-burning devices such as furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters, and clothes dryers are properly vented to the outdoors and operating properly. If you are not sure, contact a professional to inspect and make necessary repairs.
·         Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. Most homes and residential buildings in New York City are required by law to have carbon monoxide detectors installed near all sleeping areas. Owners are responsible for installing approved carbon monoxide detectors. Occupants are responsible for keeping and maintaining the carbon monoxide detectors in good repair.
·         Keep fireplace chimneys clean and clear of debris.
·         Never heat your home with a gas stove or oven, charcoal barbecue grill, kerosene, propane, or oil-burning heaters. Kerosene heaters and propane space heaters are illegal in New York City.
·         The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are non-specific and include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sleepiness, trouble breathing, and loss of consciousness. Severe poisonings may result in permanent injury or death.
If a carbon monoxide detector goes off in your home get outside immediately and call 911. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get outside immediately and call 911. For more fire safety information, visit FDNYsmart.org.
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.

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