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February 5th, 2014

This Week in Orange County 2-5-14

Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus
With much of the country still in the grip of cold-weather conditions, it’s important for older adults in Orange County to exercise care this winter season. Our elderly residents are at higher risk of hypothermia than the rest of the adult population and can suffer ill effects at temperatures as high as 65 degrees.

That’s why I’m partnering with our friends in the Office for the Aging to remind seniors in Orange County to keep warm by taking the proper precautions. For instance, wear layered clothing, sweaters, socks, and warm slippers. When sitting down to read or watch TV, wrap up in a blanket or afghan. Even with a thermostat set in the 60s, warm clothing is a must for our elderly population during these frigid months.
It is best to stay indoors during extreme cold weather. If you need to go outside, add warm, loose layers to trap more warm air, a scarf, and mittens or gloves. You will need warm boots if there is snow or ice on the ground. Check with your doctor to see if any of the medications you take increase your sensitivity to the cold, so you know to take special precautions. You can also look into HEAP, the Home Energy Assistance Program, if you need help paying for heating fuel or energy to power your furnace. Contact Orange County NY Connects at 845-615-3710 to inquire whether or not you meet the income guidelines for this program. For non-emergency calls, please dial 211 and you will be connected with someone who can help.

All Orange County residents should check in on their elderly neighbors, friends, and relatives during polar temps to make sure their heating systems are working, they are keeping warm, and they have the supplies and medications they need. These folks may be reluctant to ask you for help, but you could prevent a tragedy simply by being a good neighbor. Strong communities built on good neighbors is what Orange County is all about.

Fortunately, our county offers plenty of ways to avoid the extreme winter temps while learning new things in a family-friendly atmosphere. Through our world-class Parks Department, the Friends of the Arboretum will be offering a class for children and recruiting new volunteers in February at the Orange County Arboretum, located within Thomas Bull Memorial Park.

 If you have ever wanted to volunteer at the Arboretum, join the Friends on Tuesday, February 11th from 10:00 a.m. to noon in the Ottaway Education building for their Volunteer Recruitment and Training. This public garden’s dedicated team of volunteers work diligently to make it a place that everyone in our community can enjoy. If you’d like to contribute your skills and maybe even learn a new one, please call 845-615-3828 to sign up or receive more information.

Don’t let the winter blues get you down: Stay safe this season and enjoy some of our many attractions here in Orange County. For more information on Orange County attractions and things to do this winter, please visit the Parks, Recreation & Conservation Department at as well as the Department of Tourism by going to

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