Cold Blue Extreme, preventing frostbite

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS 10) — Tonight’s frigid temperatures mean that a cold blue extreme alert is now in effect. This is issued when temperatures drop to a chilling 10 degrees or lower.

“I’m expecting a full house all week,” said Perry Jones, Executive Director of the Capital City Rescue Mission.

According to Jones, these past few nights there has been an increase of people coming in off the streets looking for a warm meal and a warm place to sleep.

“We are glad that they are here, so we can take good care of them and nobody gets hurt from frostbite or hypothermia or all of that,” Jones explained.

Frostbite happens when your skin and tissue start to freeze after being exposed to cold temperatures.

“If you start to have cold fingers or your fingers start to feel prickly or tingly, that is a sign of early frost bite,” explained Dean Romano, Executive Director of Rotterdam EMS. “It’s telling you that your skin is starting to be compromised and if you get to the point where your fingers are numb, that is a bad thing. That is a bad sign. That means your definitely heading towards frostbite and you need to get into a warm space sooner than later.”

Romano said skin discoloration is also a sign of frostbite. If you or someone you know does develop it, Romano shared some advice.

“Don’t put them under hot water, don’t rub them, just let them warm naturally. If you continue to have pain or those symptoms continue, you need to seek medical attention,” said Romano.

While no one has come into the Capital City Rescue Mission with frostbite yet, Jones says it will likely happen as it does every year.

“We are ready to help them with that,” stated Jones. “We have a clinic and we also have places to send them and take them.”

“For those who come in without the proper winter clothing such as coats, hats, and scarves, the Capital City Rescue Mission will supply them with some. Not only will they be warmer, but dressing in loose layers helps to prevent frostbite.

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