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Excessive Cold Prompts Opening of Warming Centers

Publish Date: 01/29/2016
Annapolis, MD (January 29, 2016) - Anne Arundel County will be opening warming centers starting today at 5 p.m. in response to expected extreme cold weather conditions tonight.  The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for tonight with temperatures expected reach a low of 20 degrees and winds 6 to 16 miles per hour with gusts up to 23 miles per hour creating wind chills as low as 3 degrees. Warming centers will be open until Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m.

 

 

The Anne Arundel County Police will make the Community Rooms at the following Precincts to provide warming relief:

   

o   Northern District, 939 Hammonds Lane, Baltimore

o   Eastern District, 204 Pasadena Road, Pasadena

o   Western District, 8273 Telegraph Road, Odenton

o   Southern District, 35 Stepneys Lane, Edgewater

 

All centers are accessible and have water and restroom facilities.  Medical care is not available and anyone experiencing or observing a medical emergency should call 911. Pets are not allowed in any warming centers.  Accommodations will be made for service animals. 

 

The Anne Arundel County Fire Department and the Office of Emergency Management encourage residents to exercise caution during extremely cold temperatures. Whether inside or outside, cold weather can be dangerous to those who are not prepared to deal with it.

 

Advanced hypothermia (decreased core body temperature) is usually accompanied by stiffness, excessive shivering, confusion, slurred speech, numbness or a weak pulse. Watch for the stumbles, mumbles, fumbles and grumbles which show changes in motor coordination and levels of consciousness. Symptoms of frostbite (skin damage due to cold temperatures) include gradual numbness, pale or purple skin, hard (wooden) skin, or tingling or burning in the affected area. Contact your local emergency services if you or someone you know may be suffering from hypothermia or frostbite.

 

Children, the elderly and people with poor circulatory systems are at particular risk for hypothermia or frostbite. The Department of Health offers the following tips to help residents cope with winter conditions when outside:

 

  • Layer your clothing; it gives more flexibility and control over how warm you stay. Avoid cotton clothing for winter activities.
  • Prepare for the unexpected. Most problems with hypothermia occur because of an unexpected change in the weather or temperature.
  • Wear a warm hat. As much as 50 of body heat is lost through the head.
  • Avoid getting wet when the temperature dips.
  • Wear waterproof boots or shoes to keep your feet dry.
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol.

 

Residents should also be aware of the risks cold weather poses when inside the house. The Fire Department offers the following tips to help residents remain safe in their homes during cold conditions:

 

  • Store several days’ worth of non-perishable food and bottled water.
  • Keep several days’ worth of medications.
  • Keep fireplaces and wood-burning stoves clean.
  • Never leave space heaters on and unattended.
  • Ensure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are operating properly.
  • Check on elderly or disabled neighbors and relatives.
 

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Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 | Tele: (410) 222-7000