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With the season’s first snowfall expected to bring anywhere from two to more than six inches of snow to Westchester County from Saturday night through Sunday afternoon, Westchester County Executive George Latimer is urging residents to begin preparing for the storm. Latimer is encouraging residents to check their supplies and replenish them ahead of the storm, locate their snow shovels and snow brushes, and stay off the roads as much as possible during the heaviest snowfall, to allow crews to safely clear them.

Latimer said: “Although the forecast may change, for now it appears as though most of the snow will fall during the overnight hours on Saturday when traffic is light. This should allow crews to safely clear our roadways.”

The Westchester County Department of Public Safety will have extra Patrol and Emergency Service Unit officers working to assist motorists, and close sections of parkways if conditions require it. Public Safety Commissioner Terrance Raynor asked residents to avoid unnecessary travel, which will make it easier for officers to respond to accidents and emergencies, and for snow plows to do their work.

The Westchester County Department of Health reminds residents how to stay safe during and after the snowstorm, how to avoid hypothermia and frostbite, use gas-powered snow blowers and generators safely, and to take care when using alternate heating sources.

Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, said: “Dress warmly in layers of loose-fitting clothes when you go out to shovel, and wear a hat, gloves and a scarf. In the event of a heavier than expected snowfall, shovel a few times while it is still snowing to avoid straining yourself, and don’t shovel snow into the street. Clear the snow off the roof of your car to avoid obstructing the view of the motorists behind you. If you are able to, clear a path for your elderly neighbors and check on them. Low temperatures can be life-threatening, especially for seniors, infants and people who are at increased risk for hypothermia.”

When working, exercising or playing outdoors in cold weather, follow these tips to prevent frostbite and hypothermia:

  • Start with synthetic or silk thermal underwear to wick moisture away.
  • Add fleece or wool sweaters or sweatshirts to trap heat and keep cold out.
  • Top it off with a waterproof or water-repellent jacket and pants.
  • Add gloves, a hat and sturdy shoes or boots with good traction.
  • Go indoors when you begin to feel cold.

If you think that someone is suffering from hypothermia or frostbite, call a medical provider immediately.

Residents who lose power and use a portable generator to fuel their homes must be aware that using a generator indoors can be life-threatening. Never use a generator inside your house or in partly enclosed areas such as garages, basements, porches, crawlspaces, sheds, carports or breezeways, even if your windows are open. Generators should only be operated outside, away from open windows. Carbon monoxide in the generator’s fumes can build up and cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which can lead to death.

For the same reason, never start your snow blower or chain saw inside your garage. Power tools can give off carbon monoxide which can quickly overcome you. Camp stoves and portable barbecues should only be used outdoors.

The Health Department also reminds residents to take the following precautions when using alternate heating sources in their homes:

  • Vent fireplaces, wood stoves and other combustion heaters to the outside.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for space heaters and wood burning stoves.
  • Use only the type of fuel your heater is designed to use - don’t substitute.
  • Keep space heaters on the floor, at least three feet away from water, furniture, rugs, bedding and curtains.
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves to avoid accidental burns.
  • Wear non-flammable gloves and clothing when adding fuel to a fireplace or space heater.
  • Never add fuel to a space heater when it is hot
  • If you have a fire extinguisher, keep it nearby.
  • Never leave candles burning if you leave the room.

If you lose power, call your utility company. Con Edison can be reached at 1-800-75-CONED; NYS Electric and Gas can be reached at 1-800-572-1131 for electrical outages and 1-800- 572-1121 for gas.

For more information on cold weather safety, contact the Westchester County Department of Health at (914) 813-5000 or visit our website at You can also follow us on Twitter @wchealthdept or like us on Facebook at