NEWARK, NJ — City officials activated a "Code Blue" for Thursday night, Jan. 16, through Saturday night, Jan. 18., when temperatures will drop as low as 19 degrees.
“Newark is preparing for cold temperatures, occasional snow and rain over the next couple of days,” said Dr. Mark Wade, director of Department of Health and Community Wellness. “We will meet nature’s challenge with the strength and resilience that defines us. I urge our residents to take precautions to keep their homes safe and be safe when they are out and about and to check on their neighbors, especially the disabled, children and the elderly.”
Wade also reminds residents of cold weather hazards.
“Several layers of warm clothing and protection against moisture and wind are important, even though weather may not seem to threaten cold injury. Gloves and socks should be kept as dry as possible. Insulated boots that do not obstruct circulation are essential in very cold weather. Warm head covering is particularly important, since 30 percent of heat loss is from the head."
Wade said residents should take measures to ensure their safety at home and outdoors.
The city reminds residents of emergency shelters available for overnight sheltering during the extreme cold weather.
For more information about sheltering services, contact the shelters listed below or the Department of Health and Community Wellness, Division of Social Services at (973) 877- 9481, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Municipal offices will be closed this Monday, Jan. 20, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The city offers the following tips on keeping homes safe and coping with extreme winter weather:
- Keep sidewalks and entrances to your home free of snow and ice.
- Watch for ice dams near gutter downspouts. Keep gutters free of leaves and debris so that melting snow and ice can flow freely. Ice dams can cause water to build up and seep into your house.
- Keep the house heated to a minimum of 68 degrees. The temperatures inside the walls where the pipes are located is substantially colder than the walls themselves. A temperature lower than 68 degrees will not keep the inside walls from freezing.
- Identify the locations for the main water shutoff in your home. Find out how it works in case you have to use it.
- Open hot and cold faucets enough to let them drip slowly. Keeping water moving within the pipes will prevent them from freezing.
- Check on seniors to make sure that they are warm and dry.
- Stay indoors as much as possible.
- Check all windows and doors for drafts. Place plastic if you feel a draft.
- Do not leave space heaters unattended.
- Do not use generators indoors.
- It is illegal to use kerosene heaters indoors.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Take inventory of emergency items.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly.
- Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by checking and cleaning your furnace and chimney regularly and ensure you have proper ventilation and the exhaust pipe is free of debris.
Additionally, The City of Newark Housing Code requires all property owners to supply heat from Oct. 1 through May 1 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. at a minimum inside temperature of 68 degrees, and between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. at a minimum inside temperature of 65 degrees.
To report no heat or hot water in your apartment, call the Division of Code Enforcement at (973) 733-6471.
Anyone with questions about the city’s heat ordinance or any other Newark municipal policy or program can contact the Newark Non-Emergency Call Center at (973) 733-4311, from 8:00 am to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.