NY state agencies prepare for extreme cold

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ALBANY – It’s all about being ready for the very cold temperatures and wind chill.

Jackie Bray, the commissioner of New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services, said the Arctic blast coming to New York Thursday and staying into Saturday is going to create dangerously cold conditions.

“Folks need to be really conscious of the frostbite and the hypothermia risk on Friday and Saturday,” said Bray. “We want you to stay home, we want you in your homes or at least inside. But if you do have to be outside, you’ve got about 10 minutes before frostbite sets in, so know the types of signs to look for, for both frostbite and hypothermia and get inside as quickly as you can.”

Wind chills could be as low as 25 to 40 below zero.

The agency is coordinating now with counties and other state agencies to make sure everyone is prepared with the resources they might need, whether that be more generators, or support for warming shelters.

“We definitely coordinate with the power companies to check in to make sure they are prepared for any event like this. Obviously a loss of power in this extreme weather would be dangerous, so we are in near constant touch with our partners at the utility companies,” Bray said.

The commissioner pointed out that January was unseasonably warm, so this will be a big change and they want New Yorkers to be ready.

“That’s exactly right,” the commissioner said. “We don’t want anyone to be surprised. It is going to be dangerously cold on Friday and Saturday in the entire state. Here in Albany, Saturday morning when it’ll be the worst, we expect temps, wind chill factors in the negative 30, negative 35 range. It is not safe to be outside during that type of weather. It’s not safe to have your pets outside either.”