Kent Emergency Services Issues Weather Advisory

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Here is the rundown of the crazy weather (at this point):

* Today highs in lower 50s, Winds 15-20mph with gusts up to 30mph

* Tonight the Arctic Air Mass (Polar Vortex) will begin to enter the area and temps will drop quickly

* Tonight winds will pick up 20-25mph with gusts 30-40mph and the wind chill will make it feel like around -9 degrees

*Wind Chill Advisory to be placed in effect from 1am until Noon Tuesday, temps -10 to -15 degrees.

* Any standing water will freeze and any untreated roads will be hazardous

* Prolonged exposure to the dangerous cold and wind may lead to hypothermia and frostbite

* Tuesday morning high temps around 13 degrees, Winds 15-25mph, with gusts up to 40mph. Wind Chill will make it feel around -13 degrees. Night temps around 8 degrees, Wind Chill will make it feel like -5 degrees, winds 10-15mph.

* Wednesday: Morning high temps upper 20s, winds 5-10mph. Wind Chill will make it feel like -2 degrees. Night temps lows in the lower 20s (No wind chill value at this time).

Below are some tips from the Red Cross on dealing with extreme cold temperatures.

HOW TO STAY SAFE To stay safe during this winter storm, the Red Cross urges people to follow these steps:

Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat.

Be extremely careful if you have to shovel snow. It is physically strenuous work, so take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.

Seek medical attention immediately if you have symptoms of hypothermia, including confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering.

Watch for symptoms of frostbite, including numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.

Don’t forget your pets – bring them indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.

Avoid frozen pipes – run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent them from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.

Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.

Download the American Red Cross First Aid App for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores. See all Red Cross apps at redcross.org/mobileapps.

Kristin A. McMenamin, BA, MS
Emergency Preparedness Planner
Kent County Office of Emergency Services
Member, Governor’s Emergency Management Advisory Council

Office: 410-778-7472
Fax: 410-778-4601
Cell: 443-282-6480
Email: kmcmenamin@kentgov.org

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