As we continue to move into the winter season, bitter cold temperatures will become more prevalent. The 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 are heated public facilities where any resident can go to during periods of extreme cold temperatures to stay warm and safe. Two facilities have been designated as an area “warming center” for those who need temporary relief from the cold:
Sycamore Police Department
535 DeKalb Avenue
Sycamore, Il 60178
Open 24 hours, every day
Sycamore Public Library
103 E. State Street
Sycamore, IL 60178
9:00 a.m. through 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday
9:00 a.m. through 6 p.m., Friday
9:00 a.m. through 5 p.m., Saturday
1:00 p.m. through 5 p.m., Sunday
Library is closed December 24, 25, and January 1.
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.
During the winter months, try to keep your automobiles full of fuel
A full fuel tank helps to reduce the chance of getting any moisture from a vehicle fuel tank into the vehicles fuel lines. Also, if your vehicle is stranded due to slippery conditions, a fuller fuel tank may provide your vehicle a longer period to provide warmth to the occupants until they are assisted.
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 for possible isolation in your home for several days. 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 at winter kit for your vehicle(s) 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
- For additional ideas visit website: http://www.ready.gov/car
Additional preparedness information is available from FEMA at the following link: http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather