Category Archives: USA

New Jersey | Monmouth County readies for winter storm

Meteorologists predict three to eight inches of snow could fall in Monmouth County in the next 24 hours, and the County’s Public Works crews have been busy today applying liquid salt brine and rock salt to the County roads.
“Pre-treating the roads is key,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the County’s Department of Public Works and Engineering. “Magnesium chloride-treated rock salt is much more effective and, therefore, there is a savings in man hours and material. We use 30 percent less material and require less spreading trips, depending on the snow event, for the same result.”

Road crews from the County’s Department of Public Works and Engineering apply liquid salt brine to the County’s roads, followed by an application of salt treated with magnesium chloride. The pre-treatment prevents the snow and ice from bonding to the road surface, making it easier for the plows to clear the snow. The County maintains about 1,000 lane miles of roads.

“The County’s snow room is open and we are monitoring the storm’s progress and we have 135 trucks outfitted with spreading and plowing capabilities,” said Arnone. “Our process helps us manage the personnel needed at the County’s ten highway districts and dispatch crews as needed.”

According to the National Weather Service, snow and windy conditions are expected in Monmouth County later today and overnight. Combined with wind, drifting snow and ice, travel could be hazardous.

The salt brine and a pre-application of treated rock salt prevent the snow and ice from bonding to the roads, and the treated rock salt is environmentally friendly. It does not burn the grass or other roadside vegetation nor does it corrode the trucks or the steel bridge spans.

“Monmouth County’s snow removal program is unique because we focus on keeping the ice and snow from bonding to the road surface,” said John W. Tobia, director of the County’s Department of Public Works and Engineering. “You may notice that the lanes will be slushy instead of iced over. That’s the first step before the plows come by and push it all aside.”

This is the fifth snow season the County will be using the salt brine combined with magnesium chloride-treated rock salt. The new rock salt is much more efficient than the old rock salt, which was very corrosive to bridge structures, roadside vegetation, the roadway itself and trucks and equipment.

New Jersey | Union County prepares for winter storm

A winter storm is hitting the Union County area later today with a significant amount of snow that could eventually become a blizzard condition later this evening. It will be accompanied by high winds and afterward by bitterly freezing conditions.

Throughout the storm, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders would like you to know that our public works employees will be on standby and ready to clear roads and our Office of Emergency Management will be monitoring this event.

We recommend that motorists remain cautious and give themselves extra time to reach their destinations, but if possible, stay off roads during the storm. Please also bring a blanket and cell phone with you if you must travel and be aware of slick or icy conditions.

There is always a possibility that conditions could cause isolated power outages. If this occurs, please remember to report an outage immediately to your utility company so they can identify the location and coordinate crews to restore your power. Below are numbers and contact info:

  • PSE&G: 1-800-436-PSEG (7734)
  • JCP&L:For power outages: 1-888-544-4877 • For customers of Elizabethtown Gas, to report gas leaks, odors and emergencies, call the 24-hour response line at 1-800-492-4009. For all other inquiries, residents should call the customer care center at 1-800-242-5830

Union County will be under a “Code Blue” severe weather advisory for the homeless, to guide them to shelter.

As always, please use 911 for emergencies only. If you see a problem on a county road, please call Union County Police at 908-654-9800 to report it.

Pennsylvania | Bucks County issues three-night Code Blue weather alert

In response to the anticipated cold front approaching the area, as well as the wintry mix of rain, snow and sleet later in the week, the Bucks County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) joins the county Health Department to issue a “Code Blue” declaration between 6 p.m. Thursday, January 2 through 7 a.m. Sunday, January 5.

The National Weather Service is predicting consecutive nights of frigid temperatures, with a rain/snow mix on Thursday and snow possible on Friday.

The EMA has made arrangements with the on-call churches, Woodside Presbyterian Church in Yardley, Trinity Episcopal Church in Buckingham and West Swamp Mennonite Church in Quakertown, to activate their emergency shelters. The on-call churches will coordinate transportation, temporary shelter, food and other necessities.

County Emergency Management Director Scott Forster and Health Director Dr. David Damsker have notified local public safety officials of the Code Blue declaration. They advise all residents to be aware of the severe anticipated weather conditions. County residents are urged to check on their elderly neighbors during this period of frigid weather. Caution also should be taken with pets during the anticipated period of extremely cold temperatures.

For shelter information, please call the homeless hotline at 1-800-810-4434.

Rhode Island | East Greenwich opens emergency warming center

EMERGENCY WARMING CENTER OPENING

JANUARY 2, 2014

TIME:  FRIDAY, JANUARY 3, 2014 FROM 8:30 AM TO 4:30 PM

LOCATION: SWIFT COMMUNITY CENTER

121 PEIRCE STREET

ANYTIME AFTER NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS AND IN THE EVENT OF THE SWIFT COMMUNITY CENTER CLOSING:

EAST GREENWICH POLICE DEPARTMENT COMMUNITY CENTER

176 FIRST AVENUE

    • Town Offices are closed as of 3:00pm due to the inclement weather.  Please check back tomorrow morning for further closing and cancellation information.
    • Early School Dismissal, Trash, Recreation Classes, Senior Services Activities and Parking Ban

**EARLY DISMISSAL: Thursday, January 2, 2014

Important message from Supt. Mercurio:  “Due to the storm, the East Greenwich Public Schools will dismiss tomorrow January 2, 2014 and there will be no pre-K or afternoon kindergarten.

    The schools will be dismissed for the day under the following schedule:

–  Cole Middle School and EGHS 12:45 PM
–  Frenchtown and Eldredge Elementary Schools: 1:15 PM
–  Meadowbrook and Hanaford Elementary Schools 2:00 PM

***Due to the early dismissal, all afternoon activities will also be cancelled for tomorrow afternoon

There is a parking Ban in effect from NOON Thursday, Jan 2nd until further notice

Trash pickup will continue as scheduled (a one day delay due to the New Year’s Day Holiday), but residents are asked to put the trash cans out in the morning to allow for the plows to clear the roads over night.  Trash should be brought to the curb by 7 AM.

Recreation activities scheduled for this evening have been cancelled.

Senior Services activities scheduled for afternoon, Thursday Jan 2nd have been cancelled.

 

New York | Dutchess County prepares for winter storm

The first significant weather event of 2014 is already underway and Dutchess County Government is ready. 

Dutchess County is currently under a Winter Storm Warning until 10am tomorrow morning (Friday, January 3rd).    Light snow has been falling all morning and the weather forecast from the National Weather Service (NWS) Albany calls for total snow accumulation of 8 to 10 inches for Dutchess County.   One of the biggest concerns for this storm are the very cold temperatures predicted –single to teen digits during the day and dropping to potentially below zero overnight.  Wind chill temperatures will be even lower, dropping to between 10 below zero to 25 below zero tonight into tomorrow morning.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro said, “Dutchess County Government is ready to address the storm as it progresses.    It is equally important that all county residents are also prepared to handle the storm.   The most important message is to remember SAFETY FIRST and use common sense!   Stay off the roads if possible, be safe in the cold temperatures, check on neighbors and be safe.”

Dutchess County Public Works highway crews have been out monitoring and addressing roadways throughout the morning and are ready for a long night ahead as the snowfall accumulation increase.

Tips for safe winter driving include:

  • The leading cause of death and injuries during winter storms is transportation accidents.
  • When winter storms strike, do not drive unless necessary.
  • If travel is a necessity, drivers should make sure their vehicle is stocked with survival gear such as blankets, a shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothing, set of tire chains, battery booster cables, quick energy foods and brightly-colored cloth to use as a distress flag.
  • Vehicle gas tank should be kept full to prevent gasoline freeze-up.
  • Drivers should be sure their cell phone battery is charged and with them whenever traveling.
  • Make sure someone knows your travel plans.
  • Listen to the local media reports and/or check www.511ny.org for the latest road conditions.
  • Keep vehicles clear of ice and snow. Good vision is a key to good driving.
  • Plan stops and keep more distance between cars. Always match speed to the road and weather conditions.

Dutchess County LOOP Bus Service is currently operating on a regular schedule, however there will no 9:35pm service to Wassaic tonight.   Several Friday, January 3rd service cancellations have been announced:

  • Dial-A-Ride and Flex service is cancelled for Friday, January 3, 2014.
  • A.M RailLink service has been cancelled for Friday morning.
  • Loop Line runs A, B, C, D, E, F and G will start Friday, January 3rd at the following times:

Route A – 7:00 am
Route B – 6:30 am
Route C – 6:05 am
Route D – 8:26 am
Route E – 8:25 am
Route F – 8:00 am
Route G – 12:00 pm

LOOP passengers can check for schedule changes at www.dutchessny.gov/loop.htm.  Service changes or cancellations will also be provided to local radio stations and other media outlets.

Dutchess County Office for the Aging Senior Friendship Centers are closed today, with no home delivered meals.    Additionally, the Senior Friendship Center at First Lutheran Church on Mill Street in the City of Poughkeepsie will also be closed tomorrow.   (All other Senior Friendship Centers do not operate on Fridays.)

Dutchess County 911 Dispatch communication center is fully staffed, with additional staffing scheduled for the late afternoon and overnight as the storm intensifies.   According to Dutchess County Emergency Response Coordinator Dana Smith, the extreme cold is a significant concern.   “Residents need to be alert to the hazardous of the very low temps and wind chill factors.    There is a heightened risk of medical issues including frostbite and hypothermia.    Additionally, people need to use caution about heat sources in their homes to avoid fire risks and/or carbon monoxide issues.”

The following are just a few safety tips from Dutchess County Emergency Response about how to be safe in extreme cold temperatures:

  • Dress appropriately by wearing loose, lightweight, warm clothing in several layers.  Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent and hooded.  Always wear a hat or cap.  Cover mouth with a scarf to protect lungs from extreme cold.
  • Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, especially in children and the elderly.  Watch for the following symptoms: inability to concentrate, poor coordination, slurred speech, drowsiness, exhaustion, and/or uncontrollable shivering, following by a sudden lack of shivering.  If a person’s body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, get emergency medical assistance immediately.  Remove wet clothing, wrap the victim in warm blankets, and give warm, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated liquids until help arrives.
  • Frostbite can occur when working or playing outdoors during the winter.  In the early stages of frostbite, there is no pain.  Watch for danger signs: skin may feel numb and become flushed, and then turn white or grayish-yellow; frostbitten skin feels cold to the touch.  If frostbite is suspected, move the victim to a warm area.  Cover the affected area with something warm and dry.  Never rub it!  Get to a doctor or hospital as quickly as possible.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent, deadly killer claiming about 1,000 lives each year in the United States.  Such common items as automotive exhaust, home heating systems and obstructed chimneys can produce the colorless, odorless gas.  The gas can also be produced by poorly vented generators, kerosene heaters, gas grills and other items used for cooking and heating when used improperly during the winter months.  Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include sleepiness, headaches and dizziness.  If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, ventilate the area and get to a hospital immediately.

For a wide variety of winter safety tips from protecting your home to being safe outdoors, check out the resources available on Dutchess County Government’s website at http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/countygov/departments/EmergencyResponse/12052.htm

Residents can stay up to date on the County’s storm response online at www.dutchessny.gov or on the County’s social media pages on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dutchess-County-Government/73646813346 or Twitter at http://twitter.com/DutchessCoGov.

New York | Emergency planning calendar mailed to residents near nuclear power plants

The 2014 edition of the Oswego County “Public Emergency Response Information” calendar has been mailed to residents in the 10-mile emergency planning zone near the nuclear power plants in Scriba, Terry Bennett, Emergency Services Program Coordinator of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office, announced today.

The calendar is a joint effort of Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, Entergy, the Oswego County Emergency Management Office, and the New York State Office of Emergency Management. It contains guidelines for public response to radiological and other types of emergencies for people that live within ten miles of Nine Mile Point. The calendar features stunning photographs of landscape and outdoor scenes throughout Oswego County. Contributors for the 2014 calendar include Julie Valentine, Sue Bertsch, Sylvia Fields, Annette Syrell, Celia Potter, Bob Kester, Roger Beck, Chad Whelsky, Paige Gray, and David Hertzler.

“This year, we highlighted photos that have been submitted to us in past years, because we’ve received so many outstanding ones in the years we’ve published the calendar,” said Bennett. “We appreciate the talented photographers who allowed us to use their artwork.”

The calendar also includes a schedule for testing the county’s prompt notification system, including the sirens and tone-alert weather radios. If a radiological emergency occurs, people should turn to an Oswego County Emergency Alert System (EAS) radio or television station for information.

The publication also contains:

” Maps, bus pick-up points and evacuation routes in the emergency response planning areas;

” Examples of protective actions that people could be asked to take during a radiological emergency;

” A list of EAS stations;

” Instructions for people who need special assistance;

” Directions to the reception center at the New York State Fairgrounds; and

” Instructions for people in schools, hospitals and nursing homes.

People in the 10-mile emergency planning zone who might need special assistance are asked to fill out and return the detachable, postage-paid postcard on the back cover of the calendar.

“We ask people with special needs to register with the Emergency Management Office,” said Bennett. “We want to make sure we have current information so that appropriate arrangements can be made for necessary assistance. Anyone who knows someone who may need special assistance during an emergency may return a postcard on his or her behalf.”

 

New York | Oswego County 911 launches new Facebook page

The Oswego County 9-1-1 Program has launched a new Facebook page to keep residents informed about new developments in the 9-1-1 office.

E-9-1-1 serves the community by answering emergency and non-emergency requests for police, fire and emergency medical services.

The Facebook page contains information on training, community education programs, staff activities, and new developments in emergency communications technology. The page may be accessed at www.facebook.com/pages/Oswego-County-911-Emergency-Communications-Department.

“Oswego County 9-1-1 recognizes the importance of public outreach and the use of modern social media for the delivery of information,” said program director Michael Allen. “We are excited to launch this Facebook Page and hope the public finds it informative and useful.”

New York | Albany County advises residents on safe travel during winter storm

In light of heavy snow and frigid temperatures forecast for the next 24-36 hours, County Executive Daniel P. McCoy is advising county residents to use extreme caution while driving on county roadways.

The county Department of Public Works has between 20-25 plow trucks among the seven subdivisions throughout the county and personnel are scheduled and working 24-hour shifts for the season. Crews are working to keep the roads clear but with temperatures in the single digits snow removal can be difficult.  County DPW crews are responsible for plowing more than 400 miles of roads in the county.

“This snow and extreme cold can be deadly,” said McCoy. “Drivers need to exercise extreme caution on the roadways and if you don’t need to travel, we advise that you don’t. If you do venture out, please remember to clear your car of snow for better visibility. Our team is experienced and they are doing a good job keeping the roads clear.”

Winter storm conditions are expected to continue through Friday morning with low temperatures dipping down below zero. Governor Andrew Cuomo has activated the State Emergency Operations Center to monitor the storm impacting the area.

Drivers should adjust speed for road conditions and equip your car with emergency supplies including sand, a shovel, booster cables and an ice scraper. If you do become snowbound, do not leave your vehicle.

Several municipalities have issued snow emergencies. Please check with your locality to determine if parking restrictions are in effect.

New York | Schenectady County provides guidance for residents during extreme cold event

Schenectady County is warning Schenectady County residents to take precautions during the coming days of arctic-like temperatures and oppressive wind chills. 

The Schenectady County Office of Emergency Management urges county residents to follow these safety tips to protect themselves, their families and their loved ones from freezing conditions.

Sub-zero conditions over several days can cause problems such as frozen water pipes and even dangerous situations, especially when care is not taken with heating equipment such as alternative heating sources such as woodstoves, fireplaces and kerosene heaters.  Fire hazards are greatly increased in the winter because alternate heating sources often are used without following proper safety precautions.

Minimize outside activities, particularly the elderly and the very young.  Also, don’t forget to take care of your pets.

Check on neighbors, especially those who are elderly, physically handicapped or infirmed.

Pay attention to the news for official, up-to-date information on weather conditions.  The best way to receive emergency information is by subscribing to NY-ALERT, the State’s alert and notification system, at www.nyalert.gov.

Dress appropriately by wearing loose, lightweight, warm clothing in several layers.  Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent and hooded.  Always wear a hat or cap on your head.  Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from extreme cold.  Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves because fingers maintain more warmth when they touch each other.

Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, especially in children and the elderly.  Watch for the following symptoms: inability to concentrate, poor coordination, slurred speech, drowsiness, exhaustion, and/or uncontrollable shivering, following by a sudden lack of shivering.  If a person’s body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, get emergency medical assistance immediately.  Remove wet clothing, wrap the victim in warm blankets, and give warm, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated liquids until help arrives.

Frostbite can occur when working or playing outdoors during the winter.  In the early stages of frostbite, there is no pain.  Watch for danger signs: skin may feel numb and become flushed, and then turn white or grayish-yellow; frostbitten skin feels cold to the touch.  If frostbite is suspected, move the victim to a warm area.  Cover the affected area with something warm and dry.  Never rub it!  Get to a doctor or hospital as quickly as possible.

Prevent pipes from freezing by turning on both hot and cold water faucets slightly, preferably in a basement sink – running water will not freeze as quickly.  Open cabinet doors to allow more heat to get to non-insulated pipes under a sink or appliance near an outer wall.  If you plan to leave your residence, drain and shut off the water system (except indoor sprinkler systems).

If your pipes burst, make sure you and your family knows how to shut off the water.  Stopping water flow minimizes damage to your home.  Call a plumber and contact your insurance agent.  Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch.  Always be careful of the potential for electric shock in and around standing water.

If you should lose power, turn off or unplug lights and appliances to prevent a circuit overload when service is restored.  Leave one light on to indicate power has been restored.  Make sure fuel space heaters are used with proper ventilation.  Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to help reduce food spoilage.

When using a generator, never run it indoors.  Deadly carbon monoxide gas from the generators exhaust can spread throughout enclosed spaces.  Run generators outside, downwind of structures.  Install a carbon monoxide detector.  Keep children away from generators at all times.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent, deadly killer claiming about 1,000 lives each year in the United States.  Such common items as automotive exhaust, home heating systems and obstructed chimneys can produce the colorless, odorless gas.  The gas can also be produced by poorly vented generators, kerosene heaters, gas grills and other items used for cooking and heating when used improperly during the winter months.  Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include sleepiness, headaches and dizziness.  If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, ventilate the area and get to a hospital immediately.

When using a kerosene heater, follow the manufacturers’ instructions.  Use only the correct fuel for your unit.  Refuel outdoors only when the unit is cool.  When using the heater, use fire safeguards and ventilate properly.

Stock up on emergency supplies, including flashlights, a portable, battery-operated radio, extra batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food, and a first aid kit.

Make sure your automobile is properly winterized.  Keep the gas tank at least half-full.  Keep the following items in your car: blankets, extra clothing, flashlight, spare batteries, windshield scraper, shovel, towrope, and jumper cables.

New York | Ulster County warns residents to prepare for extreme cold

County Executive Mike Hein cautions Ulster County residents to be prepared in the upcoming days for major weather events which may include extreme cold as well as a potential snowstorm.

The severe cold weather will be upon us beginning this evening and lasting until Saturday (perhaps Sunday), with Friday being the coldest.  In addition, there is the anticipation of a possible snowstorm which the National Weather Service is terming “sizeable” and “plowable.”  Although snow accumulation may be sizable, with the very cold temperatures the snow is expected to be light weight and winds are not going to be a factor.

“During this time it is critically important to check on the elderly, neighbors and anyone who may be in need,” said County Executive Hein.  “These very low temperatures can lead to frozen pipes and water mains, and unfortunately a spike in fires and carbon monoxide incidents.  We urge everyone to please be sure to use auxiliary heating equipment safely, and ensure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries,” continued Executive Hein.   “If you must go outdoors, dress in layers, carefully covering all exposed skin, and limit unusual exertion (like shoveling snow).  If you must travel, ensure you have an emergency kit in your car.”

In addition, the County Executive also wants to remind Ulster County residents of some of the hazards associated with extreme cold and provide some recommended advice as follows:

•        Avoid overexertion because cold weather can put an increased strain on the heart;

•        Use caution with auxiliary heat sources as the incidence of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning calls to 9-1-1 rise during periods of very cold weather;

•        Insulate the pipes in your home and, if necessary run a trickle of water through a faucet, in order to prevent pipes freezing quickly; and

•        If you are stranded in a vehicle during blowing snow conditions, stay inside of the vehicle unless assistance is clearly visible.

– See more at: http://ulstercountyny.gov/news/executive/county-executive-mike-hein-warns-ulster-county-residents-extreme-cold-and-urges#sthash.1q6N3uer.dpuf