Mayor Ras J. Baraka, the Newark Municipal Council, the Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness and the Office of Emergency Management reminds Newark residents that as cold temperatures impact the region, the City will activate operation of the “Warming Center” for residents as a temporary location of refuge from the bitter temperatures during the harsh weather. The reminder came amid weather forecasts that call for temperatures below 15° degrees. The Department of Health and Community Wellness has been monitoring the weather and based on the monitored forecast, “Code Blue” will be in effect Wednesday, March 22, 2017.
The center will be opened on Wednesday March 22, 2017 from 8pm to 8am. The designated location is John F. Kennedy Recreation Center located at 211 West Kinney Street in the Central Ward. Residents who go to the warming center from the cold will be guided by staff to an area where they can get warm. The center will remain open on days the weather is 15°F below. Homeless persons who come to the clinic will be assisted by social workers to get placement in shelters for the night.
The Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness reminds residents of the hazards of cold weather. Several layers of warm clothing and protection against moisture and wind are important, even though weather may not seem to threaten cold injury. Gloves and socks should be kept as dry as possible. Insulated boots that do not impede circulation are essential in very cold weather. Warm head covering is particularly important, since 30 percent of heat loss is from the head.
Mayor Baraka also urges residents to “Check on your neighbors, particularly the elderly and the handicapped; check your smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors, and watch out for signs of frostbite.”
The Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness offers the following tips on coping with extreme winter weather:
1. Be aware of weather forecasts during the winter months. Pay attention to the temperature and the wind chill factor.
2. Know your rights as a tenant. Landlords must furnish heat from October 1 through May 1.
3. To report no heat or hot water in your apartment, call the Division of Code Enforcement at 973-733-6471 or 973-733-6481.
4. Take inventory of emergency items.
· Stock up on batteries, flashlights and canned food in case of power outage.
· Keep a manual can opener on hand.
· Have a battery-operated radio available.
· Have sufficient bottled water and blankets.
5. Watch your medical supply.
· Keep a sufficient supply of medicines.
6. Talk to your utility company.
· Make sure your utility company is informed if you have electricity-operated medical equipment at home.
7. If power is lost:
· Keep refrigerator closed as much as possible. Food will stay frozen between 36-48 hours in fully loaded refrigerator; 24 hours in a half-filled one.
· Unplug all appliances except one lamp in case a power surge can occur.
8. Check your oil tank to ensure that you have enough oil to get through the storm.
9. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning:
· Have your furnace and chimney cleaned and inspected yearly by a professional regardless of the fuel source (i.e. oil, wood, gas, coal)
· Make sure you have proper ventilation and the exhaust pipe is free of debris before running a car engine.
10. Be a good neighbor.
· Check on elderly or handicapped neighbors.
· Shovel out fire hydrants catch basins on your streets.
· Make sure pets are protected from the cold.
11. Avoid shoveling snow if you are elderly or have a heart condition.
12. Hypothermia can occur when exposed to low temperatures. Your body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Warning signs in adults are shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, drowsiness. However, in infants they can be bright red cold skin and very low energy. Take the person's temperature. If it is below 95°, the situation is an emergency. Get medical attention immediately.
13. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects your nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Any of the following signs may indicate frostbite:
· A white or grayish-yellow skin area.
· Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy.
· Numbness. A victim is often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out because the frozen tissues are numb.
If you are experiencing signs of frostbite:
· Protect your skin from further exposure. If you're outside, warm frostbitten hands by tucking them into your armpits. Protect your face, nose, or ears by covering the area with dry, gloved hands. Don't rub the affected area and never rub snow on frostbitten skin.
· Get out of the cold. Once you're indoors, remove wet clothes.
· Gradually warm frostbitten areas. Put frostbitten hands or feet in warm water — 104 to 107.6 F (40 to 42 C). Wrap or cover other areas in a warm blanket. Don't use direct heat, such as a stove, heat lamp, fireplace or heating pad, because these can cause burns before you feel them on your numb skin.
· Don't walk on frostbitten feet or toes if possible. This further damages the tissue.
· Get emergency medical help. If numbness or sustained pain remains during warming or if blisters develop, seek medical attention.
The Newark Fire Department offers the following tips for heating safety:
Anyone with questions about the City’s no-heat ordinances or any other Newark municipal policy or program can contact the Newark Non-Emergency Call Center at (973) 733-4311.
Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness:
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