As brutally cold weather plunges Long Islanders into the deep freeze, government officials are warning residents of the dangers of such intense cold.
Authorities are urging residents to check on older neighbors and relatives and to take common-sense precautions.
The National Weather Service is describing this as the "coldest air so far this season," spreading from the Northern Plains to the Northeast. Highs on Thursday should remain in the teens and low 20s on Long Island. Overnight temperatures will be in the single digits, the NWS said.
The Town of Oyster Bay is expected to re-open warming stations Thursday so residents without better options can come in from the cold.
The town's warming stations are at the Hicksville Community Center at 28 West Carl St., The Oyster Bay Community Center on Church Street in Oyster Bay and the Marjorie Post Park Community Center at 451 Unqua Road in Massapequa.
Oyster Bay spokeswoman Marta Kane said the centers were opened at the request of Nassau County officials. The center was open yesterday and is expected to be open until 5 p.m. on Thursday. Residents can check the town's website for any updates.
Meanwhile, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano is encouraging county residents to take precautions.
“It is imperative that people take the necessary steps to stay warm and to check up on friends and loved ones who may be more sensitive to the bitter cold,” Mangano said.
County officials offered these basic tips:
Dress for the Season:
- Wear loose, lightweight, warm clothing in several layers. Trapped air between the layers acts as an insulator.
- Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent and hooded.
- Always wear a hat or cap on your head since half of your body heat can be lost through an uncovered head.
- Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from extreme cold. Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves because fingers maintain more warmth when they touch each other.
Cold temperatures put an extra strain on your heart. Heavy exertion such as shoveling snow, clearing debris or pushing a car, increases the risk of a heart attack:
- Stay warm, dress warm and slow down when working outdoors.
- Take frequent rests to avoid over exertion.
- If you feel chest pain -- stop and seek help immediately.