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Holiday safety is an issue that burns brightest at this time of the year when families gather and parties are scheduled. By taking some basic precautions, you can ensure your family and guests remain safe and injury-free throughout the season:

  • Only use holiday decorations that are flame-retardant or not flammable.
  • Check holiday lights each year for frayed wires or excessive wear.
  • Only use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights outdoors.
  • Don’t link together more than three strands of holiday lights.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended. Better yet, consider using battery-operated flameless candles.
  • Keep your live Christmas tree away from heat sources and room exits.
  • Water your live Christmas tree daily to keep it from becoming dry.
  • Use a screen on your fireplace at all times when a fire is burning.
  • Develop and practice a fire escape plan. Know where to meet outside your home.
  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home, and outside all sleeping areas.

TurkeyCooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. When preparing your holiday meals, stay in the kitchen when cooking at high temperature, like frying, broiling or boiling. If you see any smoke or the grease starts to boil, turn the burner off. Learn more at


Winter can bring dangerously cold temperatures and create hazardous weather conditions that can create many threats to life and property, if one is not prepared.

Taking steps now to prepare for winter weather will help you to keep safe and enjoy the season.  Click here for winter weather safety and preparedness information.





The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) has a free online Citizens Preparedness Training Course.  The 24-minute training offers New Yorkers a condensed version of what they would have learned during an in-person course.

Topics include how to develop a family emergency plan, how to prepare your family and home for a potential emergency such as fire, what to do in specific situations such as active shooter, and covers evacuation or sheltering-in-place due to a life-threatening event, and much more.   The training also discusses what to do when returning home after an emergency, including re-entry procedures, checking for and documenting damage safely, addressing emotional and other personal needs in the aftermath of a catastrophic event, and being wary of post-disaster scams.

The Department of Emergency Response offers presentations to community groups and organizations to provide basic information on how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters or emergencies.  Learn which ones are more likely to occur in our area and how you can reduce their impact on you, your family, and the community.  Contact Geoff Dunn, Community Preparedness Coordinator, at 607-266-2633, or email

Additional Preparedness Checklists:

Generator Maintenance Checklist

72 Hour Emergency Kit List

Car Emergency Kit List

Important Legal Documents

Emergency Preparedness Checklist

Disaster-Proof Home



Disaster and emergency information will broadcast from these local radio stations:

  • 870AM WHCU

  • 97.3FM WYXL

  • 91.7FM WICB

If your TV is working, monitor a regional all-news channel, such as Spectrum News, or the Weather Channel. A weather radio will also provide accurate and current information.

National Weather Service in Binghamton

National Weather Service in Binghamton


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 Winter Storms - Snow/Ice/Cold

 Power Outages

 Heat Emergencies


 Chemical/Hazmat Accidents

 Wind Storms/Tornado

There are certain basic concepts of preparedness that apply to any type of situation:

  • Be Informed
  • Make a Plan
  • Build a Kit
  • Get Involved

Learn more at