The Milwaukee Health Department is reminding residents to stay safe during the cold weather | Popgen Tech

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 21, 2022

The Milwaukee Health Department is reminding residents to stay safe during the cold weather

MILWAUKEE – The National Weather Service forecast calls for dangerous wind chill temperatures in Milwaukee and surrounding areas from the evening of Thursday, December 22nd through Sunday, December 25th. The coldest temperatures are expected on Friday, December 23, with wind chills below -20°. Due to the mix of snow and extreme temperatures, the City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) is reminding members of the public to exercise caution in the coming days.

To prevent cold weather-related illness or death, MHD advises residents to take the following precautions:

Be prepared

  • Inspect furnaces every year before winter to make sure they are working efficiently and safely.
  • Be prepared for power outages due to wind or ice. Keep blankets and warm clothing on hand to keep warm, and create a cold weather kit for your family that includes:

    • Candles and matches
    • Hand or battery operated flashlight and radio
    • Cell phone
    • Additional batteries
    • Blankets or sleeping bags
    • Additional clothing
    • High-calorie non-perishable food
    • Additional pet food and water
    • First aid kits and any necessary medications
    • A set of tools
    • Wear weather-appropriate clothing to cover exposed skin
    • Install carbon dioxide detectors and check batteries regularly

Take care of yourself

  • When heading out, let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and ensure that exposed areas of skin, including fingers, nose and ears, are covered. Keep children indoors.
  • If you have pets, keep them inside and keep trips outside short.
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. Alcohol causes the body to lose heat faster – even though it may feel warmer after drinking alcohol.
  • Avoid traveling when the weather service has issued an advisory
  • Heat your home with appliances that are approved for indoor use and make sure they are properly ventilated to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning or fires. Never use wood or charcoal grills, camping stoves or other outdoor devices indoors. Remember to keep flammable materials such as newspapers or clothing away from portable heaters.

Stay informed

  • Check local news and weather reports for safety alerts and tips. If you know someone who may not be aware of weather warnings, including people with hearing loss, please share the information with them.
  • Be aware of the symptoms of both frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite can occur within minutes when unprotected skin is exposed to very low temperatures, causing the affected area to appear white or grayish-yellow and become hard or waxy. Hypothermia is life-threatening and occurs when the body’s temperature drops too low, causing shivering, drowsiness, clumsiness and confusion. Both require immediate medical attention.
  • Check relatives, friends, and neighbors, especially those most susceptible to heat-related illness, including the young, the elderly, and those taking certain medications (especially some medications related to blood pressure, heart disease, and mental health) .

In the coming days, MHD will increase surveillance for cold weather-related illnesses and continues to work with Milwaukee Extreme Weather Task Force partners to meet the needs of vulnerable populations during this period.

Additional winter safety information, including warm shelters for vulnerable populations, snow removal operations and tips to prevent freezing water pipes, can be found at Milwaukee.gov/ColdWeather.

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