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Home News Department of Health advises actions to take for coming arctic blast
David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
575-649-0754 Mobile

Department of Health advises actions to take for coming arctic blast

December 21, 2022 - Environmental Health - Safety

SANTA FE —The New Mexico Department of Health’s Environmental Health Epidemiology Bureau is calling on residents to closely monitor weather reports Wednesday and in the coming days.

National Weather Service (NWS) advisories warn New Mexicans to take precautions against record cold temperatures and high winds that are predicted to move into the northeast part of our state tonight and continue through this Friday. The arctic blast is expected to affect travel in New Mexico and many other U.S. states leading up to the Christmas holiday.

The Albuquerque-based NWS forecasts hazardous crosswinds and dangerous wind chills developing this evening. The strong northerly winds and cold temperatures will lead to prolonged wind chills that can cause hypothermia and frostbite. Residents are advised to minimize time outdoors and dress in warm layers.

Warning signs for hypothermia are confusion, shivering, difficulty sleeping, sleepiness and stiff muscles. In 2021, 178 New Mexicans were hospitalized for cold-related illness.

Winds will slowly weaken Thursday night with very cold temperatures persisting into Friday.

In addition, there are more carbon monoxide poisonings in the winter months. The Department of Health recommends taking precautions to protect yourself against carbon monoxide poisoning. The buildup of carbon monoxide in an enclosed space is not easily detected because it cannot be seen or smelled. Common sources include:

  • Homes, often due to faulty furnaces, heaters, fireplaces and stoves.
  • In garages, campers, or tents when outdoor appliances are used in an enclosed space.
  • Inside a garage or shed due to a vehicle engine running.
  • In your car, truck or SUV, if the tailpipe gets clogged with mud or snow.

It is important to make sure your heaters are in good working condition and space heaters have an automatic shut off. It’s also advised to check in on your neighbors and bring your pets indoors.

The Department of Health strongly encourages residents to frequently seek out their local news providers or the NWS website for updated information as this storm system passes through our state.

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.

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El Departamento de Salud recomienda tomar medidas ante la llegada del temporal ártico