As we continue to move into the winter season, bitter cold temperatures will become more prevalent. The Elmhurst Fire Department urges all citizens to take steps to prepare themselves for extreme cold temperatures. Some of those precautions include:
- Maintain awareness of local warming centers
- Dress appropriately for winter weather and recognize the symptoms of hypothermia
- Gather emergency supplies for home and/or work
- Prepare a winter go kit for your automobile
Warming Centers: Warming centers are heated public facilities where any resident can go to during periods of extreme cold temperatures to stay warm and safe. The Elmhurst Public Library has been designated as an area warming center for those who need temporary relief from the cold.
Elmhurst Public Library
125 S. Prospect
Monday - Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Please call the Elmhurst Police Department for additional site referrals:
(630) 530-3050 Non-Emergency number
Check on elderly family and neighbors: In addition, all residents are encouraged to check on elderly neighbors and family members to ensure they are safe and as comfortable as possible. If anyone needs urgent medical treatment, contact 911 immediately.
When outside, dress appropriately and maintain personal awareness
- Wear loose fitting, lightweight layered clothing. Layers can be removed if perspiration and subsequent chills become a problem.
- Wear a hat, half of body heat is lost through the top of the head.
- Keep your feet dry, wool socks are best if you are going to be out in the cold.
- Cover your mouth and nose with scarves to help protect your lungs from cold air.
- If you become stranded, stay dry and cover all exposed body parts.
- Avoid overexertion, for example when shoveling snow. Do not ignore chest pain or tightness in your chest.
- Watch for signs of frostbite such as numbness or white pale appearance to the skin.
- Watch for signs of hypothermia such as slurred speech, memory loss, uncontrollable shivering, disorientation and exhaustion.
- Seek medical attention for chest pain, frostbite or hypothermia as soon as possible.
Prepare an emergency supply for your home and include the following:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
- Have emergency heating equipment available so that you can keep one room of your house warm to be livable. Always ensure proper ventilation.
- Create a household family disaster kit for emergencies. For ideas visit website: http://www.illinois.gov/ready
Prepare a winter kit for your vehicle(s) and include the following:
- windshield scraper and small broom
- battery powered radio
- extra batteries
- snack food
- extra hats, socks and mittens
- first aid kit with pocket knife
- necessary medications
- tow chain or rope
- road salt and sand
- booster cables
- emergency flares
- fluorescent distress flag
Other important safety tips include:
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or other space heater.
- Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room and burn only dry, seasoned wood. Allow ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container, which is kept a safe distance from the home.
- Install and maintain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
Additional preparedness information is available from FEMA at the following link: https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather .