New Yorkers Urged to Prepare for Harsh Winter

Albany, NY – Although Winter doesn't officially begin until December 21st, much of Upstate New York will get a taste of the season today.

Ironically, Governor Pataki has designated next week as Winter Preparedness week.

The New York State Department of Emergency Managment has some tips on preparing for wintry conditions:

1. Have a professional check your furnace, woodstove, and chimney to make sure there are no fire hazards.

2. Replace all batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

3. Make sure your snow blower is operational before the first snow. If you do not have a snowblower, make sure you have a shovel on hand.

4. Finally, winterize your vehicle. Make sure that the heating system works and that tires have adequate tread to deal with icy roads. Make sure that you keep a supply of non-perishable food, a gallon of water, and extra clothing and blankets in your vehicle at all times.