This month, we are providing essential warnings in the event of a major storm, along with tips for avoiding accidents in crowded parking lots.

Please Take Storm Safety Tips Seriously

When NYC is hit by a major storm, public transportation often does not operate as usual, so your services are important and greatly appreciated. Before setting out on the road, always pay attention to local storm warnings and weather updates, whether from TV, radio, web or social media. According to NYC Severe Weather, stay informed by signing up for emergency alerts at Notify NYC: or by calling 311. You can also follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

  • Allow for extra travel time and expect delays with little to no notice.
  • If you must drive, drive slowly. Use major streets or highways for travel whenever possible.
  • Do not drive into flooded streets. Any roads with flood waters above ground level could be hiding live power lines, which could be fatal.
  • Charge your phone. If you lose power and need immediate assistance, call 911.
  • To report power outages, downed power lines or damaged equipment, call Con Edison’s 24-hour hotline: 800-75-CONED (752-6633) (TTY: 800-642-2308). National Grid’s 24-hour hotline is 718-643-4050 (TTY: 718-237-2857). PSEG Long Island’s 24-hour hotline is 800-490-0025 (TTY: 631-755-6660).
  • Keep an emergency survival kit in your vehicle, including several warm blankets, small shovel, sand and/or kitty litter, safety flares, flashlight (w/extra batteries), jumper cables, a red flag (or cloth), warm socks, an extra pair of gloves, a warm hat, several old sweaters, a spare ice scraper, several high energy food bars and a fully-charged portable battery.
  • Please use caution when entering areas with power blackouts, especially during evening hours when pedestrians may not be visible.
  • Please cooperate with police directing traffic at locations where traffic signals are not operating.

Parking Lot & Shopping Mall Accidents

Always anticipate unsafe moves by motorists exiting, entering or driving through a parking lot or shopping mall.

  • Anticipate vehicles traveling in the wrong direction.
  • Always yield to a vehicle backing into a parking space.
  • Remember: Vehicles in shopping malls may have their rearview window vision obstructed by packages.
  • Always anticipate a vehicle making an unsafe move to obtain a parking space in a crowded lot.
  • Always anticipate children, strollers, and/or bicycles moving unsafely.
  • Always use caution when you, or your passengers, are opening the door of your vehicle and exiting from a parking space.
  • Always scan the area prior to loading your vehicle’s trunk. Avoid bending over unsafely to load the trunk as a backing motorist may not see you.
  • Always use caution when passing a double-parked vehicle. Even if the occupant waves you on, you will be held accountable for your actions.
  • Use extra caution when picking up passengers in a parking lot or shopping mall. Criminals often call from an isolated area. Don’t be a victim of a robbery or carjacking.
Article by Bertram Merling

Bertram Merling is the Loss Control Coordinator for the Hereford Insurance Company.

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