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County OEM Issues Hypothermia Alert, as Cold Front Approaches



It is going to get mighty cold tonight. So cold, that the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS) has issued a Hypothermia Alert beginning at 7:00 pm.

Due to predicted temperatures in Montgomery County tonight of 17 to 20 degrees with a wind chill factor of below 10 degrees, and sustained winds around 18 to 20 miles per hour (mph) gusting up to 30 mph, the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security is issuing a Hypothermia Alert to go into effect at 7:00 pm.

Residents should be prepared for wind chill values to be below 10 degrees. The temperature and wind speeds combined will create a hazardous situation in which hypothermia and frostbite are likely.

A Hypothermia Alert is issued for the County when the actual or forecasted temperature, including wind chill, falls below 20 degrees creating a hazardous situation in which hypothermia and frostbite are likely.

There is always particular concern for children, seniors, and homeless individuals during periods of extreme cold. Children engaged in outdoor activities should be carefully monitored by a responsible adult. Neighbors, friends or family members should check on the elderly, especially a senior living alone. Montgomery County provides a variety of sheltering opportunities for the homeless.

Community members should be aware of the following important information.

All Montgomery County facilities, such as libraries, recreation centers, and senior centers are open during their regular hours for use by anyone needing an escape from the cold. Public shopping centers are also available as warm locations during their hours of operation. Outreach program providers encourage individuals who are homeless to seek shelter.

All emergency and transitional shelters will allow homeless individuals to stay inside until temperatures improve, and/or return to a shelter early from daytime activity programs. The Interfaith Works Empowerment Center, located at 8106 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring is also open during the day.

Try to stay indoors if possible. Take extra precautions if you work or spend long amounts of time outdoors. Wear extra layers and when possible, take frequent breaks in a warm location. Know the signs of hypothermia, which include:

- shivering

- exhaustion

- confusion

- fumbling hands

- memory loss

- slurred speech

- drowsiness

- For infants – bright red, cold skin, very low energy

All emergency and transitional shelters will allow homeless individuals to stay inside until temperatures increase, and/or return to a shelter early from daytime activity programs. For additional information on County services contact MC311 by calling 3-1-1 or 240-777-0311 between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm weekdays, or through the www.MC311.com website address available 24/7.

If you see an animal left outside that appears to be in danger, please call the Animal Services Division immediately at 301-279-8000.

#2017

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