Will County Executive Reminds Residents of Local Warming Centers

 It’s going to be cold out the door this morning across northern Illinois. The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Advisory for areas north of a line from Macomb to Bloomington, then down I-74 to Champaign and Danville. Wind chills could get as low as 30 degrees below zero in some spots. The weather service warns the cold could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.  The coldest spot at 5 a.m. was Aurora at minute 20 with the wind chill at minus 41. In Joliet at 5 a.m. the temperature was minus 7 with calm winds.

In the meantime, as temperatures plummet and a prolonged deep freeze is anticipated, Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant reminds residents to utilize local warming centers if necessary. A complete list of warming shelters is listed on the home page of the Will County Emergency Management Agency’s website at www.willcountyema.org.

 “As the weather gets bitterly cold, I urge people to check on their neighbors and family, especially the elderly,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “In addition, I am urging our residents who need a place to stay warm to find a warming center to protect themselves.”

There are warming centers available in almost every municipality in the county, including in village halls, fire stations, libraries, or other public meeting sites. Since many of these locations are open upon request, residents should contact the shelter to ensure availability.

Risks include hypothermia illnesses brought on by exposure to winter winds and cold can be fatal if treatment is lacking. Hypothermia usually occurs when the body temperature drops below 95 degrees. Seniors and the very young are most susceptible, but anyone is a susceptible to these extreme temperatures. Symptoms include: shivering, drowsiness, slurred speech, hallucinations and shallow breathing. Seek medical attention immediately if these symptoms occur.

Be cognizant of the potential risks posed by wind chill. For example, an air temperature of 20 degrees F feels like -10 F on exposed skin if the wind is blowing at 20 miles per hour.

For a full list of Warming Centers, visit https://www.willcountyema.org/warmingcooling