Cold Weather Tips

Be Prepared and Stay Informed

Getting ready for a disaster or emergency can seem like an overwhelming task. But being prepared can make all the difference. Learn how.

Heat & Hot Water Issues?

If you’re a NYCHA resident, use MyNYCHA to create, schedule, and manage work tickets online. You can also use it to subscribe to alerts for outages in your development and view inspection appointments.

Download the MyNYCHA App to your phone or tablet: Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store.

You can also call the Customer Contact Center (CCC) at 718-707-7771. For security purposes, we may ask for your date of birth and last four digits of your Social Security Number to match you with our current records and serve you more promptly.

Cold Weather Safety Tips

Tips for Staying Warm

Exposure to cold can cause life-threatening health conditions. Avoid serious conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia, by keeping warm.
  • Wear a hat, hood, or scarf, as most heat is lost through the head
  • Wear layers, as they provide better insulation and warmth
  • Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered if you go outside
  • Keep clothing dry; if a layer becomes wet, remove it
  • Seniors, infants, the homeless, and those with chronic medical conditions are at increased risk. If you know of friends, neighbors, or family members who may be at risk check on them to make sure their heat is working and that they are okay.

Helping Others

Recognize the signs and symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite:

Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition where body temperature is abnormally low. Symptoms may include shivering, slurred speech, sluggishness, drowsiness, unusual behavior, confusion, dizziness, and shallow breathing.

Frostbite is a serious injury to a body part frozen from exposure to the cold. It most often affects extremities like fingers and toes or exposed areas such as ears or parts of the face. Redness and pain may be the first warning of frostbite. Other symptoms include numbness or skin that appears pale, firm, or waxy.

Provide first aid:

  • If you suspect a person is suffering from frostbite or hypothermia, bring him or her someplace warm and call 911.
  • If medical help is not immediately available, re-warm the person, by removing any damp clothing and covering them with warm blankets.
Influenza is a major preventable cause of illness and death during the wintertime. Urge your clients and staff to get vaccinated. They can call their doctor or 311 for more information for the nearest clinic.

Safe Home Heating Tips

  • Do not use the stove, oven or hot plates to heat your apartment. This may cause the release of carbon monoxide gas (an odorless and colorless gas that is deadly).
  • Insulate your home by covering windows with plastic from the inside.
  • Working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms save lives. Make sure alarms in your apartment work properly and change batteries if needed.
  • If the alarms are not working, contact the property management office immediately.
  • If using indoor heaters, use only approved electric space heaters. Improper use of portable heating equipment can lead to fire. Take precautions to ensure you are heating your home safely.

Review fire safety tips for the use of electric heaters as stated by New York Fire Department (FDNY)
  • Space heaters should be at least three feet from anything that can burn and should always be turned off when leaving a room or going to sleep. Space heaters are temporary heating devices and should only be used for a limited time each day.
  • Never use an extension cord with a space heater. Space heaters should be plugged directly into an outlet.
  • Never use a space heater with a frayed or damaged cord, even for a small amount of time.
  • Young children should be kept away from any heater or appliance that has hot surfaces that can cause burns.

Employees Required to Report to Work

NYCHA employees are required to report to work as scheduled despite varying weather or traffic conditions, or unexpected or unusual events.
Employees should plan to address personal and family needs so that you are able to report to work as required. Employees who do not report to work will have their absence charged to their leave balances, as applicable.
In the event of a declared weather emergency by the City, instructions will be made available on this webpage. If the City declares an emergency and directs essential personnel to report to work, all NYCHA employees who provide essential services must report to work.
Essential employees will not be excused and will only be approved for leave during a declared emergency if the leave was approved in writing before the emergency.

All employees should check this page for announcements.
If a declaration of emergency expressly requires certain classes of employees to remain home, Human Resources will follow up at an appropriate time with instructions on how the absence will be charged under that emergency.
Please discuss this policy and any questions that you may have with your supervisor.

Additional Resources