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Mayor de Blasio Issues Code Blue Warning, Reminds New Yorkers To Stay Warm and Help Others at Risk

January 18, 2016

NEW YORK—Tonight, we will see temperatures in the mid to low teens, with a low wind chill near zero degrees. Temperatures tonight and tomorrow will remain below freezing, triggering Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Code Blue Warning. The Mayor urges all New Yorkers to stay warm and call 311 to help anyone at risk, especially those living on the street.

“The City is using every resource at its disposal to reach vulnerable individuals, including our recently implemented HOME-STAT effort,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Today’s Code Blue should be a reminder for all New Yorkers to dress warmly and take precaution when outdoors. We also encourage New Yorkers to do their part and call 911 or 311 if they see people in need of assistance.”

A Code Blue Warning is triggered when temperatures reach 32 degrees or lower and requires shelter access to anyone in need of assistance. During a Code Blue, the Department of Homeless Services and the New York City Police Department focus on clients on their vulnerable lists and work to contact them once every four hours to give them proper assistance. In conjunction, the recently implemented HOME-STAT effort will further the city’s outreach to protect homeless individuals from the frigid weather.

During Code Blue nights this year, the City has made over 300 placements from streets to shelters or hospitals, including four individuals involuntarily taken to hospitals.

New Yorkers should call 911 if they see someone in need of medical assistance, and 311 to have a HOME-STAT outreach team engage a homeless individual about going to a shelter and receiving homelessness services.

A Code Blue Weather Emergency includes the following options for the homeless:

  • Shelters: During a Code Blue, homeless adults can access any shelter location for single individuals. Beds are available system-wide to accommodate anyone brought in by outreach teams or walk-ins.
  • Drop-in centers: All drop-in centers are open 24 hours a day when Code Blue procedures are in effect, taking in as many as people as possible for the duration of inclement weather. Drop-in staff also can make arrangements for homeless individuals at other citywide facilities.
  • Safe havens and stabilization beds: Chronically homeless individuals may be transported to these low-threshold housing options, where they may go directly from the street to a bed.

New Yorkers are also encouraged to take the following steps during cold weather:

  • When outdoors, wear warm clothing and cover exposed skin. Use multiple layers to maintain warmth.
  • Wear a hat, hood, or scarf, as most heat is lost through the head.
  • Keep fingertips, earlobes and noses covered if you go outside.
  • Report any loss of heat or hot water to property managers immediately and call 311.
  • If homes lack heat, get to a warm place, if possible, and wear extra layers of dry, loose-fitting clothing, hats and gloves to help stay warm.
  • Never use a gas stove to heat your home.
  • Never use a kerosene or propane space heater, charcoal or gas grill, or generator indoors or near the home.
  • If your building is cold, check on your neighbors. If you know someone who is vulnerable and lacking heat, help them get to warm places and notify the building manager and/or call 311 to get heat restored. If you see someone with signs of hypothermia, such as confusion, shivering, slurred speech and drowsiness, call 911 for help and help the person get warm while waiting for help.

New Yorkers can sign up for NotifyNYC alerts at for the latest news on services affected by the dip in temperatures. Information is also available by calling 311.


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