City of Independence, Missouri

Protect your family from dangerously cold temperatures

The National Weather Service is predicting dangerously cold temperatures over the next few days, 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.

“We anticipate dangerously cold temperatures this week which puts our citizens and first responders at risk,” Independence Fire Chief Doug Short said. “Our Division of Emergency Preparedness is closely monitoring the weather and we will continue to provide updates to the public as they are made available. Please take steps to protect yourself and your family, and in an emergency please call 9-1-1.”

During periods of extreme cold weather, the following individuals are most at risk:

  • Older adults with inadequate food, clothing, or heating.
  • Babies sleeping in cold bedrooms .
  • People who remain outdoors for long periods.
  • People who drink alcohol or use illicit drugs.

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 6 a.m. through 9 p.m. Tuesday through Wed, Jan. 30. If you are in need of additional information or resources, please call the City’s community partner United Way 211 line, at 2-1-1 or (816) 474-5112.

Additionally, due to cold temperatures the storm debris Drop-Off Depot, 875 Vista Avenue, will not be open on Wednesday, Jan. 30.