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The Advocate

Two pedestrians walk down a snowy street

Winterization Tips For New York City Residents And Building Owners

December 21st, 2023

Be Prepared:

Winterization refers to preventative measures designed to protect against damage caused by freezing temperatures. As a starting point, New Yorkers should winterize their emergency go-bag with resources that will be necessary during the winter weather. Adding extra blankets, socks, gloves, hand warmers, and more in your go-bag can be beneficial.

Winterizing your home is helpful when looking to avoid high energy costs and structural damage from the winter storm. Adequate winterization is especially important for homes that are unoccupied during the winter.

Winterize Your Home:

  • Install storm shutters, doors, and windows; clean out gutters; repair any roof leaks
  • Insulate walls and attic
  • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows
  • Cover windows with plastic from the inside
  • Utilize portable electric space heaters. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand, and learn about the safe usage of space heaters
  • For residences with functioning fireplaces, keep an ample supply of wood. Learn about fireplace safety from the FDNY

Building Care:

  • Snow and rain that collects on roofs becomes heavy and may damage buildings
  • Remove leaves and debris from roof drains to prevent water from collecting
  • Clean out gutters and clear snow from roofs and drains
  • Flat roofs require special attention. Snow and water should be removed with drainage systems or manually

Be Alert:

  • NYC Emergency Management and the Department of Buildings urge building owners and managers to remove ice from their buildings wherever possible
  • If ice removal is not possible, building owners and managers should rope off the unsafe area(s)
  • Residents should avoid areas roped off due to hazardous ice conditions, and be cautious of dangerous, hanging ice
  • Residents should report snowy or icy roadways to 311

Winterize Your Car:

Have a mechanic check the following items on your vehicle:

  • Battery
  • Antifreeze
  • Windshield wipers and washer fluid
  • Ignition system
  • Thermostat
  • Lights (headlamps and hazard lights)
  • Exhaust system, heater, brakes, defroster
  • Oil level (if necessary, replace oil with a winter oil or SAE 10w/30 variety)

Winter Weather Resource Links:

For more resources and tips on how to stay warm, prepared, and safe before and during a winter storm, browse through the links below!

By Community Organizer for Infrastructure & Environmental Justice Sasha St. Juste

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