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COUNTY EXECUTIVE LATIMER REMINDS RESIDENTS TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS DURING POWER OUTAGES AND COLD WEATHER
Westchester County Executive George Latimer cautions all residents to take this holiday weekend’s below-freezing temperatures seriously when they leave home, and for those who have lost power to heat their homes safely and follow the Health Department’s food safety guidelines.
Latimer said: “We want everyone to celebrate safely. If your holiday plans involve a road trip, prepare for the unexpected. With temperatures dropping into the teens this weekend, allow extra time for travel, keep blankets in your car in case of a breakdown, and always keep your cell phone charged. Before you go out, bundle up in layers, and make sure to wear a hat and gloves. If you have lost power, heed the Health Department’s advice to avoid mishaps and don't be afraid to ask for help.”
Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, offered this advice to feed your family safely after a power outage:
The County’s Department of Emergency Services and Health Department offers more guidance for residents and business owners to stay safe without power, including:
Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, said: “If you must spend time outdoors, take frequent breaks to warm up inside. Know and recognize the signs of frostbite and hypothermia.”
Hypothermia happens when a person exposed to cold loses heat faster than it can be produced. Warnings signs of hypothermia in adults include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness. In infants, look for bright red, cold skin and low energy. If you see any of these signs, take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95°, get medical attention immediately.
Frostbite is an injury that causes a loss of feeling and color and most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can cause permanent damage. The risk is increased in people with reduced blood circulation and among people who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.
At the first signs of redness or pain in any skin area, get the person out of the cold or protect any exposed skin. Seek immediate medical care. Signs of frostbite include white or grayish-yellow skin, numbness or skin that feels unusually firm or waxy. Victims are often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out because the frozen tissues are numb.
Anyone in need of immediate shelter may contact the Westchester County Department of Social Services at (914) 995-3333 (during business hours) or (914) 995-2099 (after hours and on weekends).
Con Edison’s 24-hour hotline is 1-800-75-CONED (752-6633) and NYSEG's hotline service is 1-800-572-1131.