The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Stay safe when cold weather strikes

When dangerously cold temperatures strike, 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 center information

Anyone in need of a place to warm up as temperatures dip can find a range of options in Oak Park. Local sites include the following:

24-hour warming center:

  • Oak Park Temple, 1235 N. Harlem Ave., is open when the temperature is below 20 degrees (with or without wind chill) and/or during extremely severe weather that shuts down public facilities or transportation.
    • This warming center is organized by the Oak Park Homelessness Coalition, which relies on volunteer support for evenings, nights and weekend.
    • For questions related to volunteer opportunities, please email Andrea Ramirez at

Daytime warming centers:

  • Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St., open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, Noon to 5 p.m. Sundays
  • Oak Park Public Library – Dole Branch, 255 Augusta St., open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday – Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, Noon to 5 p.m. Sundays
  • Oak Park Public Library – Maze Branch, 845 Gunderson Ave., open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, Noon to 5 p.m. Sundays

Click here for a downloadable flyer with information about local emergency warming centers.

Click here to visit the Oak Park Public Library website to verify hours and for information about potential closures.

If transportation to a warming center is needed, call the Oak Park Police Department’s non-emergency number 708.386.3800.


Cold weather safety tips
As winter weather becomes more extreme, Village officials recommend the following precautions to help ensure you and your family stay safe throughout the season:
  • 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.
  • Avoid overexertion such as shoveling heavy snow or walking long distances in deep snow. Doing so can lead to a heart attack. If you must work outside in such conditions, wear layers of dry, warm clothing and take frequent breaks.
  • Avoid hypothermia by keeping your clothing dry and drinking warm liquids or juice, rather than drinks containing alcohol or caffeine. 
  • Potential symptoms of hypothermia or frost bite include uncontrollable shaking, feelings of extreme fatigue, pale skin, and numbness in ears, nose, toes, or fingers.  If these symptoms appear, wrap the individual in a blanket, get them indoors, and give them warm drinks. If severe, call 911.
  • Check on family, friends, and neighbors during extreme weather, particularly if they are elderly or live alone.
  • Do not leave your pets outside for extended periods of time during extreme weather. If it’s cold for you it’s cold for them!
  • Protect your pipes from freezing when temperatures drop below freezing for an extended period of time. Do this by keeping your thermostat above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, open cabinet doors around pipes, and let cold water run from your faucet at a trickle. This is particularly important for pipes located within walls on the exterior of your home.
  • Never use a stove or oven to heat your home. If using a space heater, be sure to keep it on a hard, level surface and keep it away from anything flammable.
  • Never use a generator, grill, or any other device that burns fuel of any kind indoors, as it may produce carbon monoxide.
  • It is always best to avoid driving during extreme winter weather. However, if you must travel, be sure to keep blankets, flashlights and snacks in your vehicle in case you get stranded. You should also make sure your cell phone is charged and someone knows where you are going before you leave.