With the blustery winds of Blizzard 2015 bearing down on Long Island and the tri-state region and blanketing us in so much snow, there are important health and safety tips every family should know in order to successfully weather this historic storm.

The American Red Cross provides these crucial tips on How to Prepare for a Winter Storm, including:

• Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.

• Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.

• Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.

• If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

The Red Cross advises you Put Together a Supply Kit, which includes:

• Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day

• Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food

• Flashlight

• Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)

• Extra batteries

• First aid kit

• Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)

• Multi-purpose tool

• Sanitation and personal hygiene items

• Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)

• Cell phone with chargers

• Family and emergency contact information

• Extra cash

• Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)

• Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)

• Tools/supplies for securing your home

• Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery

• Warm coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and extra blankets and warm clothing for all household members

• Ample alternate heating methods such as fireplaces or wood- or coal-burning stoves

Don’t forget your loveable family pets and critters! They need special care during winter storms, too! Read Blizzard Tips To Keep Your Pets Safe & Warm During The Storm HERE!

The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) also offers some last-minute tips to help protect your family and home during this enormous storm:

Long Island Blizzard 2015

Keep Safe & Warm!

• Gather together an emergency kit and include flashlights, batteries, blankets, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, non-perishable food, a can opener, cash, and an external battery pack for mobile devices.

• Organize layers of loose fitting, lightweight; warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.

• Use all heaters, fireplaces, generators and other appliances safely by remembering ventilation and avoiding use in wet areas. Never burn charcoal indoors.

• Fill up your car fuel tank at least half full in case of a prolonged power outage as gas stations rely on electricity to operate pumps and may not have a generator.

• Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345) if you cannot safely shelter at home.

Protect Your Home!

• Insulate pipes exposed to the elements or cold drafts with insulating foam. For as little as $1 per 6’ of insulation, you can stop pipes from freezing and save energy. If you cannot purchase insulating foam in time, consider wrapping towels around pipes and fastening them with duct tape.

• Place an insulating dome or other covering on outdoor faucets and spigots to help prevent inside the pipes from freezing, expanding and causing costly leaks.

• Drip faucets to reduce the build-up of pressure in the pipes. Even if the pipes freeze, you have released the pressure from the water system reducing the likelihood of a rupture. If you are going out of town, and suspect that temperatures will drop or a power outage will occur, turn off the water to your home and open all of the taps to drain the water system to avoid returning to wet and damaged flooring, walls and electrical.

Other Important Information, Links & Contacts

The American Red Cross will be operating a shelter for those in need at New Hyde Park Memorial High School, which will be opening at 5 p.m.

New York City Office of Emergency Management

Nassau County Office of Emergency Management

Suffolk County Office of Emergency Management

American Red Cross Disaster Resource Guide for Nassau and Suffolk Counties

To Report Power Outages PSEG Customers Are Advised To Call 1-800-490-0075 or text OUT to 773454

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