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Temperatures in Northern New Mexico continue to drop and Southern New Mexico braces for potential snowfall

State urges residents to take precautions and check on neighbors amidst extreme weather

SANTA FE — The Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) in conjunction with the Aging and Long-Term Services Department (ALTSD), urge residents of Northern New Mexico to take precautions against the continued extreme cold weather. The low temperatures occur only days after many in Northern New Mexico were devastated by power outages and extreme winter weather, leaving many without heat, food, and water.

Additionally, Southern New Mexico will experience their first freezing temperatures and potential snowfall of the season this weekend into Monday of next week. Travel is not expected to be significantly impacted. Pets and plants should be brought inside to protect them from the cold weather, especially during the early morning hours.

DHSEM Secretary Bianca Ortiz-Wertheim said “Don’t take on the cold. If possible, stay inside, and prepare your home with extra food, water, and medicine. Please stay informed about weather conditions in your local area.”

ALTSD Secretary Katrina Hotrum-Lopez urged people to check on their neighbors. “It is vital that we continue to support each other, especially our senior citizens and other vulnerable populations for whom extreme weather like this can be life or death. Check on your neighbors and if you are able, offer help where you can.”

For folks in Northern New Mexico affected by the recent and upcoming weather, and would like to be connected to resources, ALTSD can be reached at 1-800-432-2080. Additionally, in emergencies, residents are encouraged to call 9-11 for any immediate concerns.

DHSEM advises New Mexicans to consider the following during cold snaps:

  • Prepare to have enough food on hand for a few days in home to avoid traveling in unsafe conditions;
  • Consider keeping a water faucet dripping slowly to reduce the risk of frozen pipes;
  • Ensure you have warm winter supplies, like a heavy coat and gloves, and other warming supplies on hand;
  • Check on your neighbors;
  • Do not travel during the inclement weather unless it is absolutely necessary for health or welfare; and
  • If you must travel, when driving, slow down and use caution as road conditions can change quickly.

STORM WATCH

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The State of New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department [ALTSD] serves more than 200,000 seniors, adults with disabilities, and caregivers across the state with support, services, and resources. Throughout the pandemic, ALTSD provided more than 3 million meals to seniors and adults with disabilities and continues to provide approximately 21,000 grab-n-go meals each day. With a dedicated staff and the help of 4,700 senior volunteers, the department strives to help thousands of New Mexicans achieve healthy aging, attain lifelong independence, and maintain their dignity.

DHSEM works to protect the people of New Mexico and the nation through a comprehensive and coordinated program of mitigating hazards, preparing for emergencies, preventing attacks, and recovering from disasters. The New Mexico State Fire Marshal’s Office is part of DHSEM beginning on July 1, 2021.