Biking Road Sign

With your children out of school and doing more outdoor activities, now is the time to review biking safety rules with them. Be sure your child has a bike in good working condition and a helmet that meets standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Every time your child gets on a bike, he or she should be wearing a bike helmet.

Be safe during hurricane season
If you are in an area susceptible to hurricane disaster, now is a good time to review your family's evacuation plans and update your "Go Bag." The elderly and others with special needs may require special assistance. Be sure you have planned ahead for them too. High winds and torrential rains can create havoc, so be prepared and follow simple precautions when severe weather hits.

Sign-up for online alerts
Westchester County can also notify you in case of a major emergency. Sign up to receive emergency notification by e-mail or cell phone.

Barbecuing safety
With the warm weather here, folks will be setting up the barbecue for outdoor cooking. While barbecuing has a way of bringing family and friends together for goodtimes, it also presents dangers - fires and food poisoning. Read how to prevent these two significant dangers.

Fire safety
While we should be aware of how to prevent fires of all kinds, the leading cause of house fires in the U.S. is cooking fires. They predominantly start when cooking food is left unattended. So when cooking, it's better to minimize any distractions. The rule of thumb is to always "watch what you heat," and it's best to keep pots and pans covered whenever possible.

Another cause of house fires are unextinguished embers in fireplaces. While a burning fire in the fireplace creates a homey and warm atmosphere during the holidays, take steps to ensure your family's safety by properly extinguishing and handling any remaining embers.

Remember too, in warm weather to be mindful of dry, windy weather conditions. Carelessness with matches and smoldering campfires can quickly ignite a brushfire.

If a fire does occur, be sure you know what to do.

Special Needs Registry
If you, or someone you know, might require additional assistance to leave home during an emergency, consider registering with the Special Needs Registry. The registry is for individuals with physical or mental disabilities who live on their own. The database will be shared with local municipalities to use in their emergency planning efforts.

This hospital listing provides a convenient list of phone numbers and links to local hospitals in order to keep your family safe.

Of course, keeping Westchester safe requires the cooperative efforts of several departments, including Public Safety, Emergency Services, Correction and Probation. Whether it's severe weather or Indian Point, government officials have developed plans and practices to deal with emergencies.

The county has adopted the Code Adam child-finding system in all of its parks and county facilities. The county has also been at the forefront of efforts to fight bullying in general and cyberbullying in particular. Other programs are aimed at stopping drunk-driving and underage drinking.

Remember: If you have a life-threatening emergency, dial 9-1-1