Tips for Managing in Severe Weather
Courtesy of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection
With severe cold weather expected for the days ahead, OEM recommends New Yorkers take steps to plan for the cold.
The following safety tips will help New Yorkers stay warm during the current cold front and all winter long:
Tips for Staying Warm
Exposure to cold can cause life-threatening health conditions.
Avoid serious conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia, by keeping warm.
a hat, hood or scarf, as most heat is lost through the head.
- Wear layers, as they provide
better insulation and warmth.
- Keep clothing dry; if a layer becomes wet, remove it.
How to Help Others
- Infants and the elderly
are at increased risk of hypothermia and frostbite. Check on vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbors to ensure they
are adequately protected from the cold.
- Community members that identify
someone on the street they believe needs assistance should call 311 and ask for the Mobile Outreach Response Team. The
Department of Homeless Services will send an outreach team to the location to assess the individual's condition
and take appropriate action.
- Recognize symptoms of cold weather illnesses
such as frostbite and hypothermia.
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.
not give a person suffering frostbite or hypothermia alcohol or caffeine, both of which can worsen the condition. Instead,
give the patient a cup of warm broth.
If You Need Emergency Heating Assistance
The Human Resources Administration (HRA) administers the federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP),
which provides low-income people with emergency heating assistance. Eligible residents will receive a payment for fuel delivery,
or HRA will arrange for fuel delivery or boiler repair. Emergency assistance is given to those who qualify only once per heating
season. Call 311 for more information.
Safe Home Heating Tips
Improper use of portable heating equipment can lead to fire or dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Take
precautions to ensure you are heating your home safely.
- Use only portable heating equipment that is approved for indoor use.
- Keep combustible materials, including furniture, drapes, and carpeting at least three feet away from the
heat source. NEVER drape clothes over a space heater to dry.
- Always keep an eye
on heating equipment. Never leave children alone in the room where a space heater is running. Turn it off when you are
unable to closely monitor it.
- Be careful not to overload electrical circuits.
- Make sure you have a working smoke detector in every room. Check and change batteries often.
Carbon Monoxide Safety:
Make sure you have a working
carbon monoxide detector. Test all detectors at least once a month. Replace batteries twice a year, in the spring and in the
fall when clocks are changed for daylight savings time.
Make sure all fuel-burning items - such
as furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters, and clothes dryers - are operating properly, ventilated and regularly inspected by
a professional in order to prevent unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you have a working
fireplace, keep chimneys clean and clear of debris, and maintain chimney flues.
Never turn on
your oven to heat your kitchen, or operate gas or charcoal barbecue grills, kerosene- or oil-burning heater in an enclosed
Recognize signs of carbon monoxide poisoning:
common symptom is HEADACHE. However, symptoms may also include dizziness, chest pain, nausea and vomiting. In severe cases,
people can become increasingly irritable, agitated and confused, eventually becoming lethargic and lapsing into unconsciousness.
If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911, and get the victim to fresh air immediately, and open
CONTACT: Jarrod Bernstein/Andrew Troisi 718-422-4888
The February 2015 meeting
is cancelled due to the likelihood of continued frigid weather and storms.