CITY OF ST. CHARLES: Dangerous Cold is in Forecast; Please Take the Proper Precautions
City of St. Charles issued the following announcement on Jan. 24.
Tips from the St. Charles Fire Department
The forecast for our region indicates that we may experience an extended duration of dangerously cold temperatures and wind chills. The St. Charles Fire Department would like to remind everyone of some basic precautions that should be taken when temperatures plunge below freezing.
Dress in layers and limit exposed skin. Limit outdoor activity to only what is necessary.
Watch for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.
Stay informed of local weather forecasts and limit travel when weather is severe.
Be extremely careful using space heaters and allow for proper distances between the unit and anything combustible. This includes furniture and bedding materials.
Do not utilize the oven or other makeshift devices to heat your apartment or home.
The Dangers of Ice
Be very aware of the dangers of walking on ice-covered bodies of water. Ice thickness and stability are never guaranteed. There is simply no such thing as “safe ice.” Many unseen conditions can impact ice stability, such as:
Temperatures of the preceding days as well as on the day you are on the ice
The depth of any snow cover
The depth of water under the ice
The size of the body of water
Any sustained fluctuations in temperature
Extent of ice coverage
The Fire Department would like to stress that sections of ice can be deceptive in their stability and should not be trusted if a pet ventures out to explore or to chase a bird or other animal. Some danger-warning signs of unstable ice:
Flowing water near or at the edges of the ice
Water flows in an/or out of the iced-over water body
Cracks, breaks or holes
Ice that appears to have thawed and refrozen
Abnormal surfaces that you have not seen before –e.g., pressure ridges caused by currents or winds
If your pet runs out on the ice, DO NOT follow it. If it does fall through the ice, DO NOT attempt to rescue the animal yourself. Call 911 and the Fire Department will evaluate and aid in the effort to rescue pets in the water. Firefighters have the appropriate protective equipment for cold water rescue and are ready to assist. Anyone with questions regarding cold weather issues can always call the Fire Department at 630-377-4457.
“Please be sure to check on elderly neighbors and relatives, or anyone living alone during these extreme weather conditions,” advises St. Charles Fire Chief Joseph Schelstreet. “And stay away from the river or other bodies of water, even if they seem frozen. The threat of hypothermia escalates when you are submersed in icy water.”
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