Gov. Cuomo activates Emergency Operations Center

Posted at 11:15 PM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 06:48:33-05

Governor Andrew Cuomo has activated the state's Emergency Operations Center as more Lake Effect snow heads into Western New York.

Representatives from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Office of Emergency Management, Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Thruway, State Police, Public Service Commission and the Division of Military and Naval Affairs have been directed to report to the Emergency Operations Center for this activation.

According to the Governor's office, the state Department of Transportation has, "1,700 operators and supervisors in impacted regions and are ready to respond with 652 large plow/dump trucks, 72 medium plow/dump trucks, 150 loaders, 32 truck/loader mounted snow blowers, 32 tow plows, 9 pickup trucks with plows and additional resources as necessary. The Department of Transportation has more than 202,000 tons of road salt on hand."

The State D.O.T. has also offered these additional winter driving tips:

  • Never follow a snowplow too closely or attempt to pass one. Remember that the highway ahead of the plow is usually snow-covered;
  • Adjust speed for road conditions and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles;
  • Schedule extra time for winter travel and be patient during ice and snow removal operations;
  • Assume that bridge surfaces are slippery, as they freeze more quickly than road surfaces;
  • Be wary of black ice, which can be difficult to see but makes conditions slippery when pavement temperatures are below freezing;
  • Have a cell phone handy, if possible, but do not text while driving; distracted driving is illegal and becomes even more dangerous during storm events;
  • Never venture from your vehicle if snowbound;
  • Equip your car with emergency supplies including sand, shovel, flares, booster cables, rope, ice scraper, portable radio, flashlight, blankets and extra warm clothes;
  • Inform a responsible person of your destination, intended route, and estimated time of arrival; and
  • Keep calm and do not panic in case of a vehicle breakdown, accident, or if you become snowbound. Motorists should also include the following emergency items in their vehicles:
  •  Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Charged cell phone and automobile charger
  • Basic first-aid kit
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Extra clothes, including rain gear, boots, mittens, and socks
  • Windshield scraper and brush
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Shovel
  • Sand, road salt and/or cat litter for traction
  • Tire chains or traction mats
  • Basic tool kit, including pliers, wrench, and screwdriver
  • Tow rope
  • Battery jumper cables
  • Road flares/reflectors
  • Brightly colored cloth (to use as a flag)

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