Handling Suspicious Mail
Flooding or Plumbing Failure
Evacuating Disabled Persons
Winter in New York State is a time of unsurpassed beauty. It also is a time when winter storms and sub-zero temperatures pose a threat to disrupt our daily normal lives.
Now is the time to prepare your home and car to safely enjoy the winter season. Have your home heating system checked by a professional. If you heat by wood, clean your fireplace or stove now. Have your chimney checked for any buildup of creosote and then cleaned to lessen the risk of fire.
Make sure your car is tuned and your exhaust system is working properly. Also check your snowblower and other snow removal equipment and have a supply of sand or kitty litter on hand to provide traction on walkways.
As the winter weather season approaches, do you know what the various weather warnings and advisories mean?
Winter Storm WatchIssued for the possibility of severe life-threatening winter weather conditions including: heavy snow, heavy ice and/or near blizzard conditions. Forecasters are typically 50 percent confident that severe winter weather will materialize when a watch is issued.
Blizzard WatchIssued for the possibility of blizzard conditions. Forecasters are typically 50 percent confident that blizzard conditions will materialize when a blizzard watch is issued.
Lake Effect Snow WatchIssued for the potential for heavy lake effect snow.
Wind Chill WatchIssued for the potential of wind chills of -25F or less, which can cause rapid frostbite and increase the risk of hypothermia.
Winter Storm WarningIssued for a combination of heavy snow and/or ice, of which, at least one exceeds or meets warning criteria. Winter weather is expected to cause life-threatening public impact for a combination of winter hazards including heavy snow, ice, near blizzard conditions, blowing and drifting snow and/or dangerous wind chills.
Heavy Snow WarningIssued when 7 inches or more of snow is expected in 12 hours or less, or 9 inches or more is expected in 24 hours or less. Heavy Snow Warnings are issued when there is a high degree of confidence that the entire event will be snow.
Ice Storm WarningIssued for a ½ inch or more of ice accumulation which causes damage to power lines and trees. Ice Storm Warnings are issued when there is a high degree of confidence that the entire event is expected to be ice.
Blizzard WarningIssued when blizzard conditions are imminent or expected in the next 12 to 24 hours. Blizzard conditions include sustained or frequent gusts =/> 35 mph AND considerable falling, blowing and drifting of snow reducing visibilities frequently 1/4 mile.
Lake Effect Snow WarningIssued for 7 inches or more of lake effect snow.
Wind Chill WarningIssued when the wind chill is expected to be -25F or less. Frostbite can occur in less than 10 minutes.
Winter Weather AdvisoryIssued for a hazardous combination of snow, and ice of which neither meets or exceeds warning criteria. Issued for winter weather that will cause significant inconveniences or could be life-threatening if the proper precautions are not taken.
Snow AdvisoryIssued when an average of 4 to 6 inches of snow is expected in 12 hours or less. Snow advisories are issued when there is a high degree of confidence that the entire event will be snow.
Freezing Rain AdvisoryAny accumulation of freezing rain that can make roads slippery. Freezing rain advisories will only be issued when there is a high degree of confidence that the entire event will be freezing rain only.
Snow and Blowing Snow AdvisorySustained wind or frequent gusts of 25 to 34 mph accompanied by falling and blowing snow, occasionally reducing visibility to a 1/4 mile or less for three hours or more.
Blowing Snow AdvisoryWidespread or localized blowing snow reducing visibilities to a 1/4 or less with winds less than 35 mph.
Lake Effect Snow AdvisoryIssued for an average of 4 to 6 inches of lake effect snow.
Wind Chill AdvisoryIssued for wind chills of -15F to -24F. Frostbite can occur in less than 30 minutes.
Family Disaster Plan
Families should be prepared for all hazards that affect their area and themselves.
Follow these basic steps to develop a family disaster plan:
HOME EMERGENCY SUPPLIES
Winter has arrived and this is the time for you to stockpile the following supplies in the event a winter storm or power outage prevents you from leaving your home.
WINTERIZE YOUR HOME
Take the time now to get your home ready for the winter season by following these tips:
STAYING WARM INDOORS
If your heat goes out during a winter storm, you can keep warm by closing off rooms you do not need.
Losing your heat when winter's winds are howling is not pleasant. However, by following these simple tips, you will weather the storm more comfortably.
PROTECTING WATER PIPES
To prevent the mess and aggravation of frozen water pipes, protect your home, apartment or business by following the simple steps below.
Before Cold Weather
When It's Cold
If Pipes Freeze
IF THE LIGHTS GO OUT
If you lose electrical service during the winter, follow these tips:
Electric generators can provide you with piece of mind and convenience when you are faced with a temporary loss of electric service.
You to follow these safety guidelines when operating a generator:
CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING
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.
Wood-burning stoves, fireplaces and heaters can add a cozy glow, but make sure you are using them safely.
If you use kerosene heaters to supplement your regular heating fuel, or as an emergency source of heat, follow these safety tips:
Remember, the fire hazard is greatly increased in the winter because alternate heating sources often are used without following proper safety precautions.
CLEARING YOUR ROOF
As the snow and ice continues to build up, homeowners should think about safety before trying to clear the snow from their roof.
Here are some safety tips:
Clearing roofs is a dangerous task. However, if you think safety, and work safely, you will get the job done.
SAFETY FIRST FOR KIDS
Hey, kids! Winter can be a fun-filled time when enjoying outdoor activities such as skiing, skating and sledding. However, before going out, follow these safety tips:
Remember these tips when you go out to play.
NEIGHBOR HELPING NEIGHBOR
If someone you know is elderly or dependent on life-sustaining or health-related equipment such as a ventilator, respirator or oxygen concentrator, you should make plans now to ensure their needs are met during severe winter weather and possible power outages.
Winter is a time we should pay close attention to the safety of our pets. Here are some safety tips to follow:
SAFETY ON THE ROAD
When winter storms strike, do not drive unless necessary.
WINTERIZE YOUR VEHICLE
Preparing your vehicle for the winter season now will help ensure your vehicle is in good working order when you need it most.
The leading cause of death and injuries during winter storms is transportation accidents.
TRAPPED IN A CAR
What would you do if a blizzard trapped you on the road?
Here are some tips to follow:
Dress for the Season
Winter has arrived make sure you to dress for the season.
Winter storm conditions and cold waves are the deadliest types of weather.
Cold temperatures put an extra strain on your heart. Heavy exertion, such as shoveling snow, clearing debris or pushing a car, increase the risk of a heart attack.
To avoid problems, remember these tips:
WINTER SPORTS SAFETY
There is an abundance of sports activities during the winter season. From skiing and snowboarding to ice climbing, hiking and other outdoor pursuits, parents and children should follow the safety rules of the sport.
Winter is a fun time for children, but it also may be dangerous. Parents should be aware of some simple safety tips for their children when they go sledding or tobogganing:
Parents, if you are sledding with your children, follow these rules yourselves.
Winter is a fun time for children, but it also may be dangerous. Parents should be aware of some simple safety tips for their children when they go ice-skating:
Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can cause hypothermia, especially in children and the elderly.
Watch for these symptoms:
If the 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.
People working or playing outdoors during the winter can develop frostbite and not even know it.
There is no pain associated with the early stages of frostbite, so learn to watch for these danger signs:
SNOW BLOWER SAFETY
Do you have a snow blower? Did you know that most snow blower injuries happen because the operator did not read the operating instructions?
You to read your owner's manual and follow these tips:
Make sure you know how to turn the machine off quickly.
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If smoke or odors come from the ventilation system, immediately notify the Department of Public Safety at x7777. If necessary, cease all operations and vacate the area.
A psychological crisis exists when an individual is threatening harm to himself/herself or to others, or is out of touch with reality due to a severe drug reaction or a psychotic break. Hallucinations, uncontrollable behavior, or complete withdrawal may manifest a psychotic break.
A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone, the general term for all circulating weather systems (counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere) over tropical waters. Tropical cyclones are classified as follows:
Hurricanes are products of the tropical ocean and atmosphere. Powered by heat from the sea, they are steered by the easterly trade winds and the temperate westerlies as well as by their own ferocious energy. Around their core, winds grow with great velocity, generating violent seas. Moving ashore, they sweep the ocean inward while spawning tornadoes and producing torrential rains and floods.
Each year on average, ten tropical storms (of which six become hurricanes) develop over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or Gulf of Mexico. Many of these remain over the ocean. However, about five hurricanes strike the United States coastline every three years. Of these five, two will be major hurricanes (category 3 or greater on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale).
Source: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, NOAA, National Weather Service
All Hurricanes are dangerous, but some are more so than others. The way storm surge, wind and other factors combine determines the destructive power of a hurricane.
To make comparisons easier and to make the predicted hazards of approaching hurricanes clearer to emergency forces, hurricane forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration use a disaster-potential scale which assigns storms to five categories. This can be used to give an estimate of the potential property damage and flooding expected along the coast with a hurricane Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.
Winds 74-95 mph
No real damage to building structures. Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and trees. Also, some coastal road flooding and minor pier damage.
Winds 96-110 mph
Some roofing material, door, and window damage to buildings. Considerable damage to vegetation, mobile homes, and piers. Coastal and low-lying escape routes flood 2-4 hours before arrival of center. Small craft in unprotected anchorages break moorings.
Winds 111-130 mph
Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings with a minor amount of curtainwall failures. Mobile homes are destroyed. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by floating debris. Terrain continuously lower than 5 feet above sea level (ASL) may be flooded inland 8 miles or more.
Winds 131-155 mph
More extensive curtainwall failures with some complete roof structure failure on small residences. Major erosion of beach. Major damage to lower floors of structures near the shore. Terrains continuously lower than 10 feet ASL may be flooded requiring massive evacuation of residential areas inland as far as 6 miles.
Winds greater than 155 mph
Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 feet ASL and within 500 yards of the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5 to 10 miles of the shoreline may be required.
Source: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, NOAA, National Weather Service
In preparing for the hurricane season, the first step is understanding the warnings that are issued by the National Weather Service:
A hurricane WATCH means that hurricane conditions MAY threaten an area within 24-36 hours. When a hurricane WATCH is issued, everyone in that area should listen for further advisories and be prepared to act promptly.
When a hurricane WATCH is issued, people in the affected area should:
A hurricane WARNING is issued when hurricane conditions are expected in a specified coastal area in 24 hours or less. Hurricane conditions include winds of 74 miles an hour (64 knots) and/or dangerously high tides and waves.
Actions for protection of life and property should begin immediately when the warning is issued, including:
By international agreement, tropical cyclone is the general term for all cyclone circulations originating over tropical waters, classified by form and intensity as follows:
In preparing for the hurricane season, make plans for action:
Individuals with special needs or others requiring more information should contact their County Emergency Management Office.
Have these items in your residence ready to use in the event of an emergency:
Prepare a plan for your family and loved ones in advance of hazardous weather. You should:
As a major hurricane, or weather event, approaches, it is vitally important to listen to weather advisories and to be prepared to take action.
Modern weather forecasting provides the opportunity to prepare for a major hurricane days in advance. During this time it is important to: check home emergency supply kits for flashlights (avoid using candles which can be a fire hazard), portable radio and TV, cell phone chargers (especially ones that can be used in an auto to recharge cell phones), extra batteries; adequate food and water for each family members for at least three to five days; get cash (ATM machines can lose power during and after a storm); make arrangements for pets; secure yard items; put up window protection; prepare to evacuate early if instructed to do so.
Follow these tips as the hurricane / coastal storm approaches:
If an EVACUATION is ordered by local government officials:
Do not try to cross a stream or pool of water unless you are certain that the water will not be over your knees, or above the middle of the wheels of your car, all the way across. Sometimes the water will hide a bridge or part of a road that has been washed out. If you do decide it is safe to cross, put your car in low gear and drive very slowly to avoid splashing water into your engine and causing it to stop. Also, remember that your brakes may not work well after the car has been in deep water. Try them out a few times when you reach the other side.
Recommendations of the FBI, U.S. Postal Service, and the Centers for Disease Control for identifying and handling suspicious mail and dealing with powder spills from letters and packages are listed below. Although any threatened use of a biological agent must be treated seriously, experience has demonstrated that most threats are likely to be hoaxes. Disease can be prevented after exposure to anthrax spores by early treatment with the appropriate antibiotics. Anthrax is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person.
1. How to Identify Suspicious Packages and Letters
Notify the Department of Public Safety at x7777 if you receive a suspicious letter or package. Some characteristics of suspicious packages and letters include the following:
2. How to Handle Suspicious Unopened Letters or Packages
3. What to Do if Powder Spills Out of an Envelope
4. What to Do if a Room is Contaminated by Aerosolization
Anthrax or other biological agents can also be delivered in an aerosol form. In order to be effective it must be aerosolized into very small particles. This is difficult to do, and requires a great deal of technical skill and special equipment. The following steps should be taken if informed that an unknown substance has been released in this manner:
Flooding or Plumbing Failure
HEAT WAVE: More than 48 hours of high heat (90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher) and high humidity (80% relative humidity or higher) are expected.
HEAT INDEX: A number in degrees Fahrenheit that tells how hot it really feels when relative humidity is added to the actual air temperature. Exposure to full sunshine can increase the heat index by 15 degrees.
HEAT CRAMPS: Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms caused by heavy exertion. Signals are abdominal and leg muscle pain. Loss of water and salt from sweating causes cramping. Relief can be firm pressure on cramping muscles, or gentle massages to relieve cramping.
HEAT EXHAUSTION: This condition is less dangerous than heat stroke. It usually occurs when people exercise too heavily or work in warm, humid places where body fluids are lost. Signals include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness and exhaustion. If symptoms occur, get the victim out of sun, and apply cool, wet cloths.
HEAT STROKE: This condition is also known as sunstroke, which can be life threatening. Body temperature can rise and cause brain damage; death may result if not cooled quickly. Signals include hot, red and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse, and shallow breathing. Relief for lowering body temperature can be with a cold bath or sponge.
SUNBURN: Redness and pain; in severe cases, swelling of skin, blisters, fever, and headaches. Sunburn hampers heat dissipation. Ointments can be a relief for pain in mild cases. A physician should see serious cases.
Elderly persons and small children are mostly affected.
Monitor those at high risk. Infants and children up to four years of age are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures. They rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
People who are 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently, and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature. People who are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.
Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications for conditions such as depression, insomnia or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.
Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children need much more frequent watching.
Power outages are more likely to occur during warm weather, when utility usage is at its peak. To avoid putting a strain on the power grid, residents are urged to conserve energy to help prevent power disruptions.
Only use appliances that have heavy electrical loads early in the morning or very late at night.
Techniques for evacuating disabled persons vary with the nature of the disability. If a person with a disability cannot evacuate, they should follow signs to an emergency rescue area a good distance away from the hazard. From this location any person can contact the Department of Public Safety via a 2-way intercom system.
Bombings or threats of bombing are now harsh realities in today's world. While most bomb threats turn out to be hoaxes and most suspicious packages are harmless, it is important that all threats and suspicious objects be treated seriously. Time is of the essence when a bomb threat is received and we must be ready to react quickly and efficiently to minimize the risk of injury to students, staff, faculty and visitors. These guidelines are designed to help the college community prepare for the potential threat of explosive-related violence.
1. Telephone Threat Response - A calm response to a bomb threat caller could result in obtaining additional information. This is especially true if the caller wishes to avoid injuries or deaths. If told that the building is occupied or cannot be evacuated in time, the bomber may be willing to give more specific information on the bomb's location, components, or method of initiation. When a bomb threat is called in:
4. If a Suspicious Package is Found