Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and representatives from various county departments, including the Suffolk County Police Department, Department of Social Services and Department of Public Works, discussed snowstorm preparation and cold-weather protocols during a press conference Tuesday at the Suffolk County Department of Public Works Yard in Commack.
“Although no amount of preparations can prepare us for a natural disaster, we have taken the necessary steps to ensure that Suffolk County is prepared to handle routine inclement weather conditions,” Bellone said. “We have been extremely fortunate this winter, but looking at forecasts, it appears our luck is running out. Now is the time for our residents to make sure they take the necessary precautions to protect themselves.”
The Suffolk County Department of Public Works has access to more than 163 pieces of snow removal equipment, including five new heavy duty snow removal trucks, to help clear snow and winter-related debris from more than 1,600 lane miles in Suffolk County, Bellone’s office notes. The department has approximately 20,000 tons of salt ready to clear roads.
Bellone said the county is in compliance with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order to protect residents who appear to be at-risk for cold weather related injuries.
County Executive Bellone additionally provided the following winter weather tips for homeowners and residents to stay safe:
· Protect your pipes. Run water at times to help prevent your pipes from freezing.
· Make sure portable heaters are placed on a flat, leveled surface and to keep all flammable objects, including cloth, papers and rugs, away from it.
· Drive with caution and be mindful of your surroundings. During the winter, roads may ice over and become slippery even if no precipitation is present.
· Check on friends and loved ones who are elderly or may be sick during the extreme cold or during snowfall.
· When outdoors, cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from extreme cold.
· Be aware of the warning signs of hypothermia, which include shivering, confusion, memory loss, drowsiness, exhaustion and slurred speech. Infants and children who are suffering from hypothermia may appear to have very low energy and bright red, cold skin.
· Unvented or malfunctioning space heaters can emit carbon monoxide so make sure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are operating properly and have fresh batteries.
· Pets should never be left outside while you are at work or out of the house for any extended period of time.
· Walks should be limited to less than 15 minutes if the temperature is below freezing.
· If your dog must be outside for any reason this winter, monitor them closely and be sure to bring them indoors if they begin to show signs of distress.