Upstate New York prepares for extreme cold weather

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — With temperatures expected to dip below 0 degrees Friday night and wind chills making it feel as if it is in the negatives in some spots, the Schenectady Police Department says it is ramping up efforts to get people out of the cold and into some place warm.

“We definitely have stepped it up. Again, my partner and I have gone out to check on areas that we know people generally stay at to see if we are able to make contact with them,” says Lt. Ryan Macherone, “luckily, we were not able to find people. Which is good. We hope they were able to find shelter.” 

When a Code Blue alert is issued, local police departments step up their patrols to look for people who could use shelter Lt. Macherone says, “If we do find someone, we have a network of agencies here in the city that we are able to get them in touch with and get them a warm bed for the night.” 

On Friday, the Homeless and Travelers Aid Society called a Code Blue Extreme alert from Friday night until January 18. An extreme code blue is called when temperatures drop well below 10 degrees. Earlier in the day, Governor Hochul directed state agencies to prepare emergency assets in response to the impending extreme weather. In a press release the governor says, “temperatures and wind chill values like these can be both dangerous and damaging, so limit your exposure and layer-up if you must venture outside.” 

If you do have to travel at any point over the weekend, AAA Northway says there are a few items to keep in your car in case you end up in an emergency situation, especially with snow. “Whether it’s a short or long trip, the items you want to have in your vehicle: blankets, extra hat and gloves, things that are gonna keep you warm in the event of an emergency situation,” says Eric Stigberg, “extra water, snacks, maybe protein bars could get you by if you’re going to be stranded for a long while.”  

Again, if you do have to travel, AAA recommends you keep at least half a tank of fuel in your car to prevent condensation from building up and freezing. As far as clothing, try to wear moisture wicking material like nylon or polyester. As the old hiking saying goes, “cotton kills” as cotton materials hold in moisture and can lead to hypothermia.

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