Jan. 2, 2018 – When temperatures plunge and wind chills reach dangerous levels, residents are urged to limit time outdoors for themselves and their pets, as well as to check in on friends and neighbors who may need assistance.
Warming centers are open 24 hours a day at Rush Oak Park Hospital, 500 S. Maple Ave. and from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at West Suburban Medical Center, Erie Street at Austin Boulevard. Oak Park Township, 130 S. Oak Park Ave., is a warming center for seniors age 60 and over from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays.
If transportation is needed, call the Oak Park Police Department’s non-emergency number 708.386.3800. To find out if the West Suburban Medical Center warming center is open after hours, call 708.763.6200.
Village Hall, 123 Madison St., is also a warming center from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. All Park District of Oak Park buildings serve as warming centers during normal business hours as well.
Anyone needed overnight shelter, is urged to contact social service agency Housing Forward at 888.338.1744.
- Limit time outdoors in cold, wet or windy weather. Pay attention to weather forecasts and wind chill readings. In very cold, windy weather, exposed skin can develop frostbite in a matter of minutes.
- Dress in several layers of loose, warm clothing rather than a single layer. Air trapped between the layers of clothing acts as insulation against the cold. Wear windproof and waterproof outer garments to protect against wind, snow and rain. Choose undergarments that wick moisture away from your skin.
- Wear a hat that fully covers your ears. Heavy woolen or windproof materials make the best headwear for cold protection.
- Wear mittens rather than gloves, which provide better protection.
- Watch for signals of frostbite. Early signs include redness, prickling and numbness.
- Plan to protect yourself. When traveling in cold weather, carry emergency supplies and warm clothing in case you become stranded.