Media Advisory - City Services and Tips to Stay Safe and Warm
January 25, 2022
The City of Chicago urges residents to take the necessary steps to stay warm and safe by utilizing City-offered services and tips during dangerously cold temperatures this week and through the weekend. The National Weather Service issued a Wind Chill Advisory for 8 p.m. tonight through noon on Wednesday, January 26. The coldest temperatures and wind chills are expected tonight and tomorrow morning with wind chill values as low as 25 below zero.
OEMC will monitor weather conditions with the NWS and coordinate response efforts with the City’s public safety and infrastructure departments and public partners to keep residents safe and informed. Additionally, OEMC issues several alerts and notifications to keep residents up to date on weather conditions and emergencies:
- Notify Chicago: Sign up for emergency alerts at www.NotifyChicago.org
- CHILAKE: For lakefront notices, TEXT “CHILAKE” to 7-8-0-1-5
- COVID: Get COVID-19 updates by TEXTING “COVID19” to 6-7-2-8-3
- CHIBIZ: Business updates, TEXT “CHIBIZ” to 6-7-2-8-3
Those seeking access to warming centers and/or experiencing insufficient heat are encouraged to contact 3-1-1 for immediate assistance. All six warming center locations are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday. The Garfield Community Service Center, located at 10 S. Kedzie Avenue is available 24/7 to provide warmth and connect families and residents to emergency shelters.
The City of Chicago would like to remind residents to provide any needed assistance to neighbors, family members, the elderly and those most vulnerable. If you need to request a well-being check you can call 311, go to 311.chicago.gov, or use the CHI311 mobile app.
The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) has activated warming areas at the City’s six community service centers.
- The warming areas are open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- On evenings, weekends or holidays, city-operated facilities including libraries and park facilities might also serve as warming areas, if needed.
- Residents must wear a face covering while in the warming areas.
- The Garfield Community Service Center at 10 South Kedzie, is open on a 24-hour basis to connect families and residents to emergency shelter.
- DFSS activates warming areas at the City’s 21 senior centers when temperatures are at 32 degrees or below freezing.
- Those seeking a warm place to go after hours can also call 3-1-1 to be connected with available services. Individuals requiring emergency overnight shelter should also call 3-1-1, visit 311.Chicago.gov or download the CHI311 app to ensure residents are aware of the City's designated warming areas. Residents are also encouraged to check on relatives, neighbors and friends during a winter weather emergency.
- A list of community service center locations is available along with information and multilingual fliers containing warming center information in English, Spanish and Polish also are posted on DFSS's website at Chicago.gov/FSS.
- All of our shelters will be open 24/7 today and tomorrow, with some extending operations into the weekend. See below for overnight shelter 24/7 schedules:
- Franciscan Annex (adult overnight shelter): 24/7 Tuesday, January 25 – Sunday morning, January 30.
- The Night Ministry -The Crib (youth overnight shelter): 24/7 Tuesday, January 25 – Thursday morning, January 27.
- La Casa Norte (Casa Corazon Beds program – youth overnight shelter): 24/7, Tuesday, January 25 - Saturday morning, January 29.
- A Safe Haven (youth overnight shelter)- 24/7, Tuesday, January 25 – Thursday morning, January 27.
- If you see someone trying to survive on the street or in other public venues, or if you know of a friend or relative who may need assistance, please call 311 with the location of the individual.
The Department of Water Management reminds residents to prevent frozen pipes, make sure that warm air is circulating throughout the home and keep a trickle of water running. If pipes freeze, do not use candles or any open flame to thaw them. Use a hair dryer or heating pad. For more info visit www.chicago.gov/water
The Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) manages more than 9,400 lane miles of city roadway and maintains a fleet of over 300 snow vehicles ready to respond to winter weather, when needed. DSS is also prepared with 425,000 tons of salt stationed at 19 salt piles throughout the city, including a new salt dome at Grand Ave. and Rockwell St. Residents can visit www.chicagoshovels.org to view the City’s snow plows in real-time during a winter storm.
The Chicago Fire Department does not recommend using space heaters; however, if used, be sure they are UL certified and at least 3 feet from anything that can ignite. Use of a space heater in children’s rooms should be monitored closely as children sometimes move them close to or into the bed with tragic results. If extension cords are used, they should be rated at 15 amps minimum and never put cords under carpet. With the added demand on furnaces and boilers, CFD also reminds residents are required by ordinance to have working carbon monoxide detectors to protect against carbon monoxide leaks from a heating system that could be fatal over time. Those seeking access to warming centers and/or experiencing insufficient heat are encouraged to contact 3-1-1 for immediate assistance. Also, be sure to keep smoke detectors in working order.
Family and Home Safety
The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) would like to caution residents to take care of themselves, and to also aid neighbors, family members, pets and friends, particularly those who are elderly, have disabilities and/or live alone. Taking preventative action is the best way to stay safe from the serious health risks associated with winter weather. Residents are advised to limit their time outside, wear layers of warm clothing when going outside, and watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
- Motorists should take extra precautions to winterize vehicles and have necessary supplies on-the-go, including cell phone chargers.
- Keep in mind, disabled vehicles or distracted driving can cause accidents, impact traffic and others requiring emergency services.
- Have a back-up plan such as keeping extra sets of vehicle and house keys or nearby shelter should you become locked out of your vehicle or home to avoid outdoor exposure for any length of time.
- Residents should know the signs and care of frostbite and hypothermia. For Winter preparation information visit, Chicago.gov/OEMC for details and links to other local, state and federal resources.
- Avoid unnecessary trips outside-if you must go out, limit the time you stay outside.
- Wear several layers of loose, warm cloth.
- Keep your head, hands and feet covered when outdoors.
- Stay dry, because moisture can damage the insulating effectiveness of clothing.
- Pay extra attention to your daily needs: get enough sleep, eat high energy foods, drink warm beverages to help your body stay warm, and avoid alcoholic beverages.
For additional information on emergency preparedness information, visit the OEMC website at Chicago.gov/OEMC. Follow the Office of Emergency Management and Communications on Facebook(@coemc), Twitter (@ChicagoOEMC) and Instagram (chicago_oemc_911).
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