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How to prepare for this week's bitterly cold weather in NYC

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Hot (and obvious) tip: Stay indoors as much as possible

Cold Front Sends Temperatures Into 20's In New York City Getty Images

Don’t let the clear skies and sunshine fool you: New Yorkers are in for some severely cold weather these next few days. Arctic pressure has resulted in temperatures frigid enough to prompt the National Weather Service to issue several warnings and advisories for the city. Governor Andrew Cuomo has been issuing warnings of his own and is urging New Yorkers to take “precautions against dangerously cold weather” that is expected to linger around the entire state for the remainder of the week and early next week.

Per the National Weather Service, the forecast over the next few days calls for temperatures in the upper teens and mid-20s, with an average temperature of 19 degrees. Late-night temperatures will hit the single-digits with wind chills reaching below zero.

While it would be ideal if we could all just stay indoors and not face the bitter cold that awaits, that’s not exactly possible for most of us. In order to help you manage over the several days, the city’s Emergency Management Department has issued a few safety tips and best practices:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible. (Duh.)
  • When venturing outdoors, wear dry, warm clothing; cover exposed skin; don’t forget your hat, hood, scarf, and gloves; and try to keep your fingertips, nose, and earlobes covered.
  • Limit alcohol consumption—believe it or not, it actually increases your chances of hypothermia and frostbite since it impairs your judgement, thus rendering it more difficult to appropriately remove yourself from a dangerously cold environment. (So if you were planning on a New Year’s Eve bender, maybe rethink that decision.)

The Emergency Management Department along with the FDNY also encourages New Yorkers to check on their neighbors, friends, and relatives, especially if they are elderly, disabled, or suffer from medical conditions.

The Department of Social Services has issued a Code Blue Weather Emergency notice, which means, shelters may not deny anyone who is homeless and seeking shelter in NYC. If you see someone who appears to be homeless, the city asks that you call 311 so that an outreach team can be dispatched to offer assistance.

One of the worst things that can happen during this type of weather is to lose heat or hot water. Should this happen, have your landlord’s contact information handy and if the situation isn’t addressed within a timely manner, call 311 who can then report the issue to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

Members Of Coney Island's Polar Bear Club Take Icy Dip On New Years Day Photo by Astrid Riecken/Getty Images

Due to the below freezing temperatures, Coney Island will break tradition and will not offer free rides on Deno’s Wonder Wheel or the Stop the Zombies ride on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Somehow, the neighborhood’s 114th Annual Polar Bear New Year’s Day Plunge seems to still be happening.