FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2012
MAYOR BLOOMBERG URGES NEW YORKERS STILL WITHOUT HEAT FROM HURRICANE SANDY TO RELOCATE TO A WARM PLACE IMMEDIATELY
Temperatures Expected to Drop into the Mid 20s This Weekend, Putting Residents Living Without Heat at Risk of Hypothermia, Other Serious Health Problems
City's Door to Door Operation Distributing Information About Shelter and Dangers of Cold In Buildings Without Heat
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today urged all New Yorkers who are living without heat due to damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to get to a warm, safe place immediately, as temperatures are expected to drop below freezing this weekend and stay cold for at least 3-4 days. People who cannot find warm places to stay on their own can visit a NYC Restoration Center or call 311 and the City will find them a warm place to stay. Additionally, the City, in partnership with the FDNY and the National Guard, has surveyed the damaged areas to determine who remains without power and heat and has been visiting residential buildings to distribute literature regarding the dangers of freezing temperatures, assisting residents in arranging a warm, private and safe place to stay and providing information about fire prevention.
"We have been fortunate that the temperatures this fall have been relatively mild, but when the season turns to winter this Friday, it is expected to bring the cold with it," said Mayor Bloomberg. "And as temperatures drop, those living without heat face serious health problems and even death. Don't take any chances with your life, or with your family"s lives. Get somewhere warm and safe now. If you cannot stay with friends or relatives, go to a NYC Restoration Center or call 311 and we will find a place for you to stay."
"Prolonged cold exposure can cause hypothermia and worsen other medical problems," said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. "Hypothermia is called a 'silent killer' because the symptoms are not always obvious. With temperatures expected to drop this weekend and stay low, there is no time to waste. If you do not have heat, get to a warm place immediately."
According to national weather forecasts, temperatures in New York City are expected to be as low as 25 degrees Fahrenheit this weekend, with wind chill factors as low as 12-15 degrees Fahrenheit, and to remain below the low 40s for at least 3-4 days. Prolonged exposure to such temperatures can lead to hypothermia, which can develop gradually without a person noticing. Prolonged exposure to cold can also worsen asthma, heart disease and other serious conditions. Infants, the elderly and people with existing medical conditions are particularly vulnerable, but healthy people of all ages are at risk from prolonged exposure to the cold and need to find a warm place to stay.
Symptoms of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, weakness, sleepiness, confusion and lack of coordination. In infants, signs may include cold, bright red skin and very low energy.
Using stove tops, ovens, grills or faulty space heaters to stay warm can cause deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms include sleepiness, dizziness, headaches, confusion and weakness.
Residents whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy and are still without heat or power and cannot find warm places to stay on their own can visit a NYC Restoration Center or call 311 and we will find them a warm place to stay. Homeowners without heat or power are also encouraged to sign up for Rapid Repairs, a free program that provides essential repairs to your home. But people who sign up for Rapid Repairs should still leave their homes if they have no heat. Repairs include permanent or temporary restoration of heat, power and hot water, and other limited repairs to protect the home from further damage. Homeowners must register for Rapid Repairs and complete a Right of Entry form to authorize the City to start the work by December 31, 2012. They can do so by calling 311, or by visiting www.NYC.gov or the nearest Restoration Center.
NYC Restoration Centers are located at the following addresses and are open Monday through Saturday (On Sunday or after hours call 311 for shelter):
Marc LaVorgna/Samantha Levine (212) 788-2958
Jean Weinberg (Health)
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