SNOW STORM: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

To keep residents informed and to ensure that our community is prepared during a snow storm, we have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

What contact numbers do I need?

In the event of life or property threatening emergencies, call 911.
To report loss of electric or if you smell gas: Contact Con Ed: 1-800-75CONED (1-800-752-6633). or go to www.ConEd.com
To report downed trees: New Castle Police: 914-238-4422
To report downed power lines: New Castle Police: 914-238-4422
To Report Water emergency: Millwood Water Treatment Plant: 914-944-0036 / 914-944-0037

How do I receive storm updates?

Sign up for codeRED and New Castle Police Department Nixle alerts, and please check the town’s web site. For Nixle text alerts, just text your zip code to 888777.
For email (& text) alerts, go to https://local.nixle.com/register/
For codeRED notifications: https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/A84FF0D0EFC6

When are the snow plows sent out?

The plow operators are dispatched immediately at the beginning of a storm and stay out continually during the storm. They are responsible for clearing over 24 square miles – 101 miles of Town owned roads!

Which streets are plowed first?

Snow plows first clear primary and major artery streets, school streets, and streets serving emergency response facilities and heavy traffic. After those roads are clear, secondary streets are cleared and streets with moderate traffic. Lastly, all other streets, including cul-de-sacs and dead-end streets, are plowed. After a major storm, it may take two to three days for plow crews to clear all the streets.

What can I do if snow is blocking access to my mail box or driveway?

During snow plowing operations, the snow from the street will end up in front of driveways and mailboxes. The property owner is responsible for access to his/her individual driveway or mailbox. The only way to avoid extra shoveling is to wait until the Public Works crews have done their final clean-up on the street.

What if there is a fire hydrant on my property?

Our local fire departments ask residents to clear hydrants near their homes throughout the storm (when safe to do so). It may save a life.

Is depositing snow upon the town roadway prohibited?

Yes. Homeowners and/or their snow plowers can be fined for pushing snow from a private driveway onto the public roadway. Depositing snow onto the road causes a hazard and can cause a “narrowing” of the plowed width of the road.

How can I prepare before the storm?

  • Be familiar with winter storm watches and warnings.
  • Have disaster supplies on hand, in case the power goes out. Include a flashlight and extra batteries; portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries; a first aid kit; a one-week supply of food (include items that do not require refrigeration or cooking in case the power is shut off); a manual can opener; one-week supply of essential prescription medications; extra blankets and sleeping bags.
  • Develop an emergency communication plan in case family members are separated from one another during a winter storm (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school) and have a plan for getting back together.
  • Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the family contact because after a disaster, it’s often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.
  • What should I do during the storm?
  • Stay indoors and dress warmly.
  • Monitor your emails and check out the town’s web site www.MyNewCastle.org for the latest information.
  • Bring pets inside during winter weather.

Is it safe to go outside?

  • Dress warmly and wear loose-fitting, layered, light-weight clothing. Layers can be removed to prevent perspiration and chill. Outer garments should be water repellant. Mittens are warmer than gloves because fingers generate warmth when they touch each other.
  • If you go out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises to warm up your body. Also take frequent breaks.
  • Protect your lungs from extremely cold air by covering your mouth when outdoors. Try not to speak unless absolutely necessary.
  • Avoid overexertion. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Unaccustomed exercise such as shoveling snow or pushing a car can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse.
  • Be aware of symptoms of dehydration.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Keep dry and change wet clothing frequently to prevent loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
  • Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance – infants, elderly people and people with disabilities.

When is the Emergency Operations Center activated?

The Emergency Operations Center will be activated based on a number of factors such as:

  • The number of road closures on major and secondary roads.
  • Types of closures – wires down vs just trees
  • An extraordinary incident that involves multiple agencies or the need for resources beyond local capabilities
  • A threat to life and property that involves a large geographic area of town.