Westchestergov.com Keeping Safe

Be Safe in Severe Weather

Severe winter weather can be damaging to homes and yards

With winter upon us, be prepared for severe weather. 

Here are some safety tips from the county's Department of Emergency Services.

Clearing snow

bullet pointShovel snow in moderation, particularly if you have any medical condition or you do not exercise regularly.

bullet pointIt is the responsibility of the property owner to clear the sidewalk in front of that property.

bullet pointDo not shovel snow from driveways and sidewalks into the street.

bullet pointMost fire hydrants are covered by snow. If you can, please shovel out the snow around hydrants near your property.

  • Before driving, clear snow from vehicle windows and roofs.

Safety first

  • Check on elderly and disabled relatives, neighbors and friends.
  • Do not walk behind plow vehicles; it is difficult for plow operators to see you.
  • Be on the look out for falling ice and snow from roofs and gutters.
  • Do not stand under structures that are not well-supported.

Who to call
Please do not call 9-1-1 for non-emergencies such as information or to complain about snow removal issues. You may call United Way's 2-1-1 helpline for non emergencies.

If you have no heat or hot water in rental apartments, call your local building department or, during after hours, the local police.

In light of potential heavy rains or quickly melting snow that could lead to flooding, review and consider these tips too.

  • Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground should you have to leave in a hurry. During major rain storms, many of Westchester's parkways and roadways can become flooded. Be sure to observe flood safety rules; they could save your life.
  • Develop an emergency plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated. Know what to do and when to do it.
  • Prepare and have readily available a Go Bag.
  • Make an itemized list of all valuables including furnishings, clothing, and other personal property. If possible, take photos of your items. Keep the list in a safe place.
  • Plan what to do with your pets.
  • Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, gasoline stations may not be able to pump fuel for several days. Have a small kit of disaster supplies in the trunk of your car.
  • Find out how many feet your property is above and below possible flood levels. When predicted flood levels are broadcast, you can determine if you may be flooded.
  • Have emergency waterproofing supplies on hand, including sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber.

Flood Awareness
After heavy snow falls, if temperatures climb too fast, be aware of floodding.  The New York State Office of Emergency Management has prepared a comprehensive document reviewing what to do in the event of a flood.