Temperatures over the next few days are expected to be dangerously low, with wind chills overnight anticipated in the negative teens. Citizens are encouraged to stay inside if possible and if they must go outside or travel, to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves and their families. During periods of extreme cold weather, the following individuals are most at risk:
Please check on family and friends regularly during extreme weather and remember in the case of an emergency always call 9-1-1.
If the outdoors cannot be avoided, make sure the nose, ears, toes, cheeks, chin, and fingers are covered in warm dry clothing. These are the areas most at-risk for frostbite and should be protected at all times. Frostbite symptoms include a white or grayish-yellow skin area, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy and numbness. If you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care.
Hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature, is caused by prolonged exposures to very cold temperatures. Warnings signs of hypothermia are different in adults and infants. Adult symptoms include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness. Infant symptoms include bright red or cold skin and very low energy. If you notice any of these signs, take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95° F, the situation is an emergency—get medical attention immediately.
The Roger T. Sermon Community Center, 201 N. Dodgion St., will be available as a Warming Center from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. The Sermon Center will be closed for the New Year’s holiday on Sunday, Dec. 31, and Monday, Jan. 1. It will open for regular operating hours on Tuesday, 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.
For general information on cold-related illness signs and symptoms, call the Independence Health Department at (816) 325-7185. If you are in need of additional information, please call the City’s community partner United Way 211 line, at 2-1-1 or (816) 474-5112.