With upcoming temperatures expected to drop as low as ten below zero, Westchester County officials are warning residents to bundle up and prepare for freezing conditions.
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As an arctic blast prepares to cover the area with below-freezing temperatures and wind gusts up to 40 mph on Friday, Feb. 3, and Saturday, Feb. 4, county officials are highlighting the threat of hypothermia and frostbite that comes with such conditions.
"Before you go out in this dangerous cold, dress yourself and your children appropriately in a hat, gloves, and multiple layers," said the county's Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler in an announcement on Thursday, Feb. 2.
Amler added, "When driving, keep blankets in your car in case of a breakdown. If you must spend time outdoors, take frequent breaks to warm up inside. Know and recognize the signs of frostbite and hypothermia.”
According to Amler, some of these signs of hypothermia in adults include:
- Fumbling hands;
- Memory loss;
- Slurred speech;
Additionally, infants facing hypothermia may experience bright red, cold skin, and low energy. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should take their temperature and get immediate medical attention if it is below 95 degrees, county officials said.
Populations at the most risk for hypothermia include elderly people without proper food, clothing, or heating, infants in cold bedrooms, or people who stay outside for long periods of time.
Frostbite can also affect those who venture outdoors, especially people with reduced blood circulation or people who do not dress warmly enough.
Because frozen tissues go numb, frostbite can be hard to notice. Anyone with redness or pain in their skin, or with white or grayish-yellow skin, should immediately go inside.
"The extremely cold temperatures that are predicted for the coming days are colder than what we have experienced so far this winter, so it is important that we be reminded of what to do when the arctic weather hits," County Executive George Latimer said.
He added, "Residents should avoid staying outside if possible, dress in layers and keep pets indoors. Make sure you have enough oil in your tank, gas in your car, and check on your neighbors and relatives who may need extra help."
For anyone in need of a warming center when freezing temperatures arrive, officials recommend public spaces such as libraries, municipal buildings, and malls.
Temperatures are expected to drop during the day on Friday, hitting lows in the teens by the afternoon. The overnight low from Friday night into Saturday will drop to around zero degrees, with temperatures climbing back up into the 20s during the day.
On Sunday, Feb. 5, temperatures will then climb back up to the low 40s.
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