The Spring Creek Towers’ (SCT) Maintenance Department and Department of Public Safety (DPS) were prepared for the blizzard. The entire staff worked to ensure that the roads, pathways and other thoroughfares within the complex were cleared of snow. When the announcement of the pending storm was initially made, members of the maintenance staff inspected equipment, tools and vehicles to make sure that they were in good working order – and then followed their snow removal work protocol. According to the Spring Creek Towers’ Maintenance Department; 67 members of the department began shoveling, plowing and salting. Some of them worked between 34 and 38 hours to ensure that the snow did not form patches of ice. “Since Wednesday, we were preparing for the storm. When the storm came, throughout the day and night, maintenance worked non-stop. It was a huge effort and we were able to meet the challenge Mother Nature presented to our community,” said Orlando Palmieri, Director of Spring Creek Towers’ Maintenance Department.
Storm Jonas was not only the first snowstorm of the New Year; it was also the first major snowstorm for Co-deputy Directors, Vincent DeMarino and Jonathan Taormina, since their appointment in early March. DeMarino was filled with pride and awe as he observed the teamwork and professionalism displayed by members of the Maintenance Department and DPS. “I spent this weekend amazed and in awe of the hard work, dedication, concern for and loyalty to the community that the various staffs displayed. We worked exceptionally well together to ensure the essential needs of the community were the priority, and I personally observed our staffs work tirelessly – at times beyond exhaustion – to ensure the safety, security and needs of our community were met,” said DeMarino.
The tremendous effort displayed by all of members of the Maintenance Department and DPS allowed for quick and diligent responses to everything thrown their way. Although the ability to get to work with a travel ban and complete shutdown of all public transportation was difficult, storm Jonas presented challenges that the staff persevered through to help protect and assist the community needs.
Avoiding the Cold Bitter Winter
It’s important to dress warm and avoid traveling during snowstorms. The Spring Creek Sun has compiled a list of Winter Health and Safety Tips from information provided by the SCT Department of Public Safety and The New York City Office of Emergency Management:
Tips for Staying Warm
Exposure to cold can cause life-threatening health conditions. Avoid serious conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia, by keeping warm:
- Wear a hat, hood, or scarf, as most heat is lost through the head.
- Wear layers, as they provide better insulation and warmth.
- Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered if you go outside.
Maneuvering Safely in the Snow
- Wear boots or overshoes with grip soles such as rubber and neoprene composite. Slick leather or plastic soles on shoes will increase the risk of slipping.
- Use special care when entering or exiting vehicles, use the vehicle for support. Before standing brace yourself with the vehicle door and seat back, this will give you some stability.
- Don’t walk with your hands in your pockets. This reduces the ability to use your arms for balance if you do slip.
- Don’t carry or swing heavy loads, such as large boxes, cases or purses that may cause you to lose your balance when you are walking.
- Place your full attention on walking.
Recognize symptoms of cold weather illnesses:
- Hypothermia: symptoms include slurred speech, sluggishness, confusion, dizziness, shallow breathing, unusual behavior, and slow, irregular heartbeat.
- Frostbite: symptoms include gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, and waxy feeling skin.
- If you suspect a person is suffering from frostbite or hypothermia, bring him or her someplace warm and seek medical help immediately or call 911.
- If medical help is unavailable, re-warm the person, starting at the core of their body. Warming arms and legs first can increase circulation of cold blood to the heart, which can lead to heart failure. Use a blanket, or if necessary, your own body heat to warm the person.
- Do not give a person suffering frostbite or hypothermia alcohol or caffeine, instead, give the patient a cup of warm broth.
Shoveling Out Your Car:
- If you are over the age of 40 or live a sedentary lifestyle, then you should be careful not to overexert yourself when shoveling. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack – a major cause of death in the winter. So if you have a history of heart trouble, do not shovel without a doctor’s permission.
- Do not shovel after eating or while smoking.
- Pace yourself, shoveling is like lifting weights. It can raise your heart rate and blood pressure dramatically.
- Push the snow as you shovel. It’s easier on your back.
- Lift with your legs bent, not your back. Keep your back straight. By bending and “sitting” into the movement, you’ll keep your spine upright and less stressed. Your shoulders, torso and thighs can do the work for you.
Be Careful When Driving
- Whenever possible, avoid driving in a winter storm. If you must go out, it is safer to take public transportation. Avoid traveling alone, but if you do so, let someone know your destination, route and when you expect to arrive.
- Check tires on vehicles they should have adequate snow traction; a tire requires at least 6/32-inch deep tread, according to The Tire Rack. (New passenger-car tires usually have 10/32-inch of tread.)
- Visibility is important-make sure you can see. Replace windshield wiper blades. Clean the inside of your windows thoroughly. Make sure your windshield washer system works and is full of an anti-icing fluid.
- Check and use your headlights so that others will see you. Make sure your headlights and taillights are clear of snow. If you have an older car with sand-pitted headlights, get a new set of lenses.
- Know your vehicle’s braking system. Vehicles with antilock brakes (ABS) require a different braking technique than vehicles without antilock brakes in icy or snowy conditions. For vehicles without ABS, you will have to rely on the old-fashioned system: You. For non-ABS on a mixed-surface road, push the brake pedal hard until the wheels stop rolling, then immediately release the brake enough to allow the wheels to begin turning again. Repeat this sequence rapidly. This is not the same as “pumping the brake.” Your goal is to have the tires producing maximum grip regardless of whether the surface is snow, ice or damp pavement.
- Watch carefully for “black ice.” This is nearly transparent ice that often looks like a harmless puddle or is overlooked entirely.
- Too much steering is bad. If a slick section in a turn causes your front tires to lose grip, the common — but incorrect — reaction is to continue turning the steering wheel. It won’t improve the situation and may make things worse. If the icy conditions end and the front tires regain grip, your car will dart whichever way the wheels are pointed. That may be into oncoming traffic or a telephone pole. Something very similar could happen if you steer too much while braking with ABS. Sadly, there are situations where nothing will prevent a crash, but turning the steering too much never helps.
- All-wheel drive (AWD) and electronic stability control (ESC) can get you into trouble by offering a false sense of security. AWD can only help a vehicle accelerate or keep moving: It can’t help you go around a snow-covered turn, much less stop at an icy intersection. ESC can prevent a spinout, but it can’t clear ice from the roads or give your tires more traction.
- Many General Motors vehicles have an OnStar feature (if you subscribe to it). This OnStar feature allows you to get help (there are also other features) in case of emergencies. If you need any kind of emergency assistance and you have the OnStar feature, you can simply press the button on the rearview mirror, and OnStar representative will assist you and help if needed.
For more tips go to www.nyc.gov