FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NYC EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT URGES NEW YORKERS TO PREPARE FOR EXTREME COLD
Frigid Weather Expected Thursday night through Monday, with temperatures plummeting to single digits with sub-zero wind chills Saturday night through Sunday
Seniors, infants, the homeless, and those with chronic medical conditions are at increased risk of health problems from the extreme cold
February 10, 2016 — The New York City Emergency Management Department today urged New Yorkers to prepare for upcoming extreme cold weather.
"New York City is expecting dangerously cold weather this weekend, temperatures we haven't experienced this season," said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. "We are urging New Yorkers not to take these bone chilling temperatures lightly. Stay indoors, and if you have to go out, bundle up. Remember to check in on your family, neighbors, the elderly, or others with increased health risks to make sure they are protected from the extreme cold."
An arctic blast is forecast to bring bitterly cold weather to the New York City area Thursday night through Monday. High temperatures Thursday will be at or below freezing. Temperatures drop to the teens Thursday night, with wind chill values in the single digits. Daytime temperatures are forecast to stay below freezing Friday, and continue to drop Friday night into Saturday, with temperatures in the teens and wind chill values near zero. Saturday night temperatures drop to single digits, and wind chill values are expected to plummet to as low as 15 degrees below zero. Wind chill values are expected to remain below zero through Sunday morning, slightly increasing to single digits Sunday night through early Monday morning. Temperatures should begin to moderate Monday afternoon, with highs expected to be around freezing through Monday night.
New Yorkers are advised to check on their neighbors, friends, and relatives — especially the elderly and those with disabilities and access and functional needs — during periods of extreme cold. People most likely to be exposed to dangerous cold include those who lack shelter, work outdoors and/or live in homes with malfunctioning or inadequate heat. Seniors, infants, people with chronic cardiovascular or lung conditions, people using alcohol or drugs and people with cognitive impairments (like dementia, serious mental illness or developmental disability) are at increased risk.
New Yorkers are also encouraged to take the following precautions:
Health problems resulting from prolonged exposure to cold include hypothermia, frostbite and exacerbation of chronic heart and lung conditions. Recognize the signs and symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite:
A Code Blue Weather Emergency notice is issued when the weather drops to 32 degrees or below. No one seeking shelter in New York City will be denied. Anyone who sees a homeless individual or family out in the cold should call 311 immediately and an outreach team will be dispatched to assist them. Code Blue Weather Emergencies includes the following options for the homeless:
Carbon monoxide safety tips:
If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911, get the victim to fresh air immediately, and open windows.What to Do if You Lose Heat or Hot Water at Home
Building owners are legally required to provide heat and hot water to their tenants. Hot water must be provided 365 days per year at a constant minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat must be provided during the "Heat Season", between October 1st and May 31st under the following conditions:
Any New York City tenant without adequate heat or hot water should first speak with the building owner, manager, or superintendent. If the problem is not corrected, tenants should call 311 or file a complaint at 311ONLINE for heat and hot water conditions.
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will take measures to ensure that the building owner is complying with the law. This may include contacting the building’s owner and/or sending an inspector to verify the complaint and issue a violation directing the owner to restore heat and hot water if appropriate. If the owner fails to comply and does not restore service, HPD may initiate repairs through its Emergency Repair Program and bill the landlord for the cost of the work. HPD may also initiate legal action against properties that are issued heat violations, and owners who incur multiple heat violations are subject to litigation seeking maximum litigation penalties and to continued scrutiny on heat and other code deficiencies.
Take measures to trap existing warm air and safely stay warm until heat returns, including:
If You Need Emergency Heating Assistance
The Human Resources Administration (HRA) administers the federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), which can help low-income renters and homeowners with heating bills and other energy expenses. HEAP can help with:
Eligibility for HEAP is based on your household income, family size and energy costs. If you are homebound and need help with your heating bills, you can call the NYC Heat Line at 212-331-3150 to arrange a home visit. For more information, call 311.
For more cold weather safety tips, view NYC Emergency Management’s public service video announcement or visit NYC.gov/EmergencyManagement. New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can receive phone calls, text messages, and/or emails alerts about weather conditions and other emergencies. To sign up for Notify NYC, call 311, visit NYC.gov/notifynyc, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.
MEDIA CONTACT: Nancy Silvestri/Omar Bourne (718) 422-4888
STAY CONNECTED: Twitter: @NotifyNYC (emergency notifications)
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