NEW YORK (PIX11) — With wind chills falling below zero, there is elevated concern in New York City for the unhoused with the shelter system stressed due to the migrant crisis.
A spokesman for the mayor’s office said homeless outreach workers are redoubling their efforts to bring people in to the shelter system during the next few days. He stressed there is still room, even with of migrant crisis straining resources.
“This is extreme weather,” said Dr. Audie Liametz, vice chair of emergency medicine at NYU Langone Hospital — Long Island.
The doctor said even people more adept at dealing with cold weather, like a persistently street homeless person, need to come inside immediately.
Liametz also stresses the very young and very old who may struggle to regulate body temperature are particularly at risk when wind chill temperature plunge below zero.
The first few signs of hypothermia according to him: “All of a sudden you get very cold, you start shivering, and you get numbness in your fingertips, and then a little bit of altered mental status.”
Liametz said ingesting warm liquids, like coffee or tea, are the quickest ways to recover from early hypothermia.
City health officials are also reminding young parents to never use a blanket for an infant because they pose a choking hazard. A sleep suit or sack is recommended.