Monday, December 30, 2013

Severe weather event

Good afternoon In the upcoming days we can expect two major weather events - extreme cold, and a potentially significant snowstorm. Extreme cold - Several years ago the County Executive formed a committee comprised of human needs organizations. The primary focus of "Winter Watch" was to protect the health and welfare of the citizens of the County during especially harsh winter events. One outcome of the committee was an agreement between the National Weather Service in Albany, and the various County Emergency Management offices to identify times when the temperature would dip to an average of 10 degrees or less for a period of at least three days (as measured in Albany). Such a period will be upon us beginning Tuesday evening and lasting until Saturday (perhaps Sunday) with Friday being the coldest. During this time it is critically important to check on the elderly and other fragile populations (including household pets). These temperatures can lead to frozen pipes and water mains, and unfortunately a spike in fires and carbon monoxide incidents. Please be sure to use auxiliary heating equipment safely, and ensure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries. If you must go out doors, dress in layers carefully covering all exposed skin, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and limit unusual exertion (like shoveling snow). If you must travel, ensure you have an emergency kit in your car. Snowstorm - the NWS is couching their timing and estimate of how much snow we are slated to receive. They are terming it "sizeable" and "plowable". The forecast is heavily predicated on the "exact track of the storm", etc. Obviously with the very cold temperatures the liquid equivalent will yield high snow ratios. The good news is it will be a light (in terms of weight) snow fall. Winds are not going to be a factor. Unless there is something extraordinary about the size of the snowfall, there will be no further updates. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to call the office at 331-7000. Art