The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning In Effect from 3 a.m. on Friday, January 12 until noon on Saturday, January 13
The Snow will be followed by the Extreme Cold with the possibility of -20˚ Wind Chills through Wednesday, January 17
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Warning bringing heavy snow, strong winds and dangerous travel conditions. Possible snow accumulation of 8 inches and wind gusts up to 45 mph are expected with the highest snow accumulation away from lake Michigan. The Snow will be followed by the extreme temperatures in the single digits with the possibility of -20˚ Wind Chills through Wednesday, January 17.
The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) will monitor conditions with the National Weather Service in Chicago and keep the public informed when certain thresholds set by the National Weather Service are reached and any related warnings issued.
“OEMC is committed to working with City departments and our partners to assist residents, the unhoused and new arrivals to stay safe during the severe cold,” said Jose Tirado, Acting Executive Director of OEMC. “OEMC will continue to monitor conditions with the National Weather Service throughout the coming days and will coordinate the City’s response with our public safety partners and City Departments.
The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) encourages residents to be prepared for the Winter Season. Public safety is the top priority and staying safe during the winter months requires taking steps now to winterize our homes and cars and prepare our families when the cold, wind, ice, and snow comes our way. For Winter preparedness, visit Weather.gov/safety/winter for additional preparedness tips.
The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) will activate warming areas at the City’s six community service centers when temps are at 32 degrees or below.
The warming areas are open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Additional facilities are also available as needed. This includes participating Chicago Public Library locations and Chicago Park District facilities during business hours.
- For a list of Chicago Park District warming center locations open on Sunday and Monday CLICK HERE.
- The Garfield Community Service Center at 10 South Kedzie, is open on a 24-hour basis to connect families and residents to emergency shelter
- Due to the cold temps over the Holiday weekend the 10 South Kedzie location will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Note:on Monday, January 15 the Garfield Community Service Center at 10 South Kedzie will be the only Community Service Center open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. in light of the MLK Holiday.
- 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 or you can visit this link - City of Chicago Warming Centers.
- For a complete list of warming centers including hours of operation, visit - Warming Centers - Map | City of Chicago | Data Portal
- Motorists should take extra precautions to winterize vehicles and have necessary supplies on-the-go. Keep in mind, disabled vehicles or distracted driving can cause accidents, impact traffic and others or requiring emergency services.
- 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.
- Keep cell phones charged to get updates and assistance, if needed, in emergencies.
Severe cold temperatures, strong winds and snow can cause safety hazards, whether home or traveling, so it’s important to stay informed. OEMC issues several alerts and notifications to keep people up to date on weather conditions and emergencies.
- Notify Chicago: Sign up for emergency alerts at www.NotifyChicago.org
- CHILAKE: For lakefront notices including flooding, TEXT “CHILAKE” to 7-8-0-1-5
- CHIBIZ: Business updates, TEXT “CHIBIZ” to 6-7-2-8-3
Winter Weather Preparedness and Weather Forecasts ChicagoOEMC App (video)
For winter safety and preparedness at your fingertips, residents are encouraged to download the Chicago OEMC App. The public safety tool provides safety information, preparedness tips, emergency alerts, weather information, DSS Snowplow Tracker and more in the palm of your hand. Users will also have access to current forecasts, radar, and public safety information as well. The app is available through the Apple App and Google Play stores or visit the website, Chicago.gov/OEMC.
The City’s winter overnight parking ban is in effect, through April 1, 2024, to ensure the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) crews can quickly salt and plow the streets during a winter storm. The ban impacts approximately 107 miles of Chicago streets daily from 3:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m., and signage is permanently posted along the affected routes. Residents are encouraged to check the posted street signs for parking restrictions. DSS manages more than 9,400 lane miles of roadway and maintains a fleet of over 300 snow vehicles that are fully prepared to respond. DSS is also prepared with 425,000 tons of salt stationed at salt piles throughout the city.
The Department of Transportation (CDOT) reminds all home, business, and property owners to clear snow from all sidewalks adjacent to their property, including any crosswalk ramps. Snow should not be shoveled into the right-of-way, which includes transit stops and bus pads, parking spaces, bike lanes, bike racks, Divvy stations, and any other space where snow impedes traffic of any kind. Property owners responsible for a corner lot must remove snow and ice from sidewalks on all sides of the building and from corner sidewalk ramps. CDOT is responsible for salting and plowing the more than 40 miles of protected bike lanes in Chicago. The public can report uncleared sidewalks and bike lanes by calling 3-1-1, visiting 311.Chicago.gov, or by using the CHI 311 app.
Family and Home Safety
As the City braces for cold temperatures and winter weather, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) would like to caution residents to take care of themselves and to 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. Cold weather puts extra strain on the heart – be careful with outdoor physical activities in the winter like shoveling snow, especially if you have high blood pressure or heart disease. CDPH is also reminding residents to get their updated COVID-19 shot, and that it’s not too late to get a flu shot. We all need to do our part to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses. Residents can find flu shot locations at chicago.gov/flu and COVID-19 vaccines at Chicago.gov/COVIDVax
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.
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 Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) is well prepared with the necessary levels of salt, deicing fluid, equipment and staffing to maintain safe airfield conditions at O'Hare and Midway International Airports during winter weather conditions. Real-time delay and cancellation information can be found on FlyChicago.com, along with many other resources and a live chat assistant. Passengers should always check the status of their flight with their air carrier before departing for the airport, and the CDA encourages passengers to consider downloading their air carrier’s mobile application to receive regular updates on flight status. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) also recommends all passengers arrive at the airport two hours prior to a domestic flight and three hours prior to an international flight.
Chicago Animal Care and Control reminds residents that winter is a season of bitter cold and numbing wetness. Help your pets remain happy and healthy during the colder months by following these simple guidelines. Don't leave dogs outdoors when the temperature drops. Most dogs, and all cats, are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise. Regardless of the season, shorthaired, very young or old dogs and all cats should never be left outside without supervision. Short-coated dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater or coat during walks.
“In preparation for the snow and cold weather this weekend, ComEd is ready to deploy additional equipment and crews across the service territory so that we can restore our customers quickly and safely in the event of power outages,” said Gil Quiniones, CEO of ComEd. “With ComEd’s hard working and dedicated crews, and nation leading reliability performance, we are well positioned to respond to the impacts of severe weather events ahead.”
ComEd urges customers to contact the company immediately if they experience a power outage. Customers can text OUT to 26633 (COMED) to report an outage and receive restoration information and can follow the company on Twitter @ComEd or on Facebook at Facebook.com/ComEd. Customers can also call 1-800 EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661), or report outages via the website at ComEd.com/report. Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).
Public safety is paramount. ComEd offers the following tips and information encourage customers to stay safe following severe weather:
- If you encounter a downed power line, immediately call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON-1 (1-800-334-7661). Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).
- Never approach a downed power line. Always assume a power line is energized and extremely dangerous.
- In the event of an outage, do not approach ComEd crews working to restore power to ask about restoration times. Crews may be working on live electrical equipment, and the perimeter of the work zone may be hazardous.
- Check on elderly and other family members and neighbors to ensure their safety and make alternate arrangements in the event of an outage.
Peoples Gas advises that if you smell gas or think a gas line is damaged, leave the area immediately and call this number from a safe location: 866.556.6002.
- Never use a stove or oven to heat your home. It could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Have your boiler/furnace inspected regularly and make sure all natural gas appliances have proper ventilation. Make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors and test them regularly. Understand the dangers and symptoms of carbon monoxide. Keep the area around your furnace and water heater free of clutter and flammable items.
- Gently remove snow and ice from outside natural gas meters by hand or with a broom to avoid damage to the equipment. Remove overhead icicles to prevent dripping water from refreezing on your natural gas meters and pipes. Keep your walkway leading to the meter clear for accessibility in an emergency.
- Peoples Gas is here to help customers struggling to keep up with bills. Go to peoplesgasdelivery.com, or call us to discuss flexible payment plans and budget billing. Income-eligible customers may also qualify for financial assistance. To see if you are eligible and apply, call the Community Economic Development Association (CEDA) at 800-571-2332.
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).