Tips for arctic blast: Keep warm, check your car, stay healthy

Posted: Updated:
BABYLON -

Preparations were underway Wednesday for the bitter blast of arctic weather that is gripping Long Island for the next few days.

Wicked cold and whipping winds walloped Long Island Rail Road passengers Wednesday as they waited on the Babylon station's elevated platform.

Laura Skarulis and others passed the time in the waiting room, which LIRR officials said would be open 24 hours until the deep freeze is expected to thaw on Friday.

"I think it's a great thing to do," Skarulis said.

Babylon salt and sand crews already made a few passes through the LIRR parking lot by Wednesday evening. LIRR officials reminded people to avoid running on the platforms or stairwells that may be slick.

When it comes to vehicles, Robert Sinclair, of AAA, pointed out issues that he said should have been taken care of before the frigid cold. That includes checking your battery, coolant and ignition systems and tire pressure.

For keeping your home toasty, Dennis Traina, of Tragar Home Services, also said the trick is to get ahead of the cold. He recommended 70 to 71 degrees as a suitable indoor temperature and suggested trying to isolate any frozen pipes and deal with them as soon as possible.

Dr. Alan Kaplan, of Syosset Hospital, said if you can't stay inside, don't stay outdoors for any great length of time, and don't leave any part of your skin exposed. He said the first signs of hypothermia and frostbite can take effect within minutes. Some of the first symptoms are confusion and fatigue, which can hamper a person's ability to understand what's happening to them.

Temperatures are expected to climb back up to the 40s and 50s to start off next week.

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