January 22, 2016

Weather forecasters are predicting Winter Storm Jonas will bring up to a foot of snow to New York City on Saturday. In response, staff and volunteers at every meal center in the city delivered extra meals yesterday and today to ensure frail aged New Yorkers will be nourished throughout the weekend. Our warehouse in Brooklyn is also stocked with nearly 13,000 shelf-stable meal boxes – as well as enough food staples to pack an additional 16,000 emergency boxes if needed.

Last fall, Citymeals delivered an Emergency Food Package to all of our meal recipients to prepare them for the winter. Filled with twelve shelf-stable meals, these boxes make sure our homebound elderly neighbors have food on hand in case weather emergencies delay our regular meal deliveries.

We are continuing to prepare frail aged New Yorkers for the weather ahead but are asking for your help in ensuring their safety. Most of our meal recipients are not mobile or healthy enough to take the proper precautions for winter weather, and it takes just moments to check on them.

Citymeals recommends:

  • Ensure your elderly neighbors have food essentials on hand, including milk, bread, soup and a source of protein.
  • Make sure their heat is on.
  • If they use space heaters, check for potential fire hazards, such as blankets, curtains or upholstered furniture, in close proximity.
  • Ask if there is sufficient hot water for bathing.
  • Check to see if they have blankets to keep warm at night.

Two of the most common cold weather illnesses are hypothermia and frostbite. Symptoms include:

  • Hypothermia: slurred speech, sluggishness, confusion, dizziness, shallow breathing, unusual behavior, and slow, irregular heartbeat.
  • Frostbite: gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, and waxy feeling skin.

If an older person exhibits symptoms of these illnesses – or if confusion sets in – call 911 immediately. For more information about winter weather precautions for the elderly, visit the New York City Emergency Management website.

Watch coverage of our Winter Storm Jonas deliveries from NBC 4 New York.