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Montgomery County Issues Cold Emergency Alert; Community Members Urged to Take Precautions

Due to expected overnight temperatures tonight into tomorrow in Montgomery County falling into the teens or single digits with a wind chills below zero degrees, the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security is issuing a Cold Emergency Alert to go into effect tonight at 1:00 pm Wednesday, Jan 30, through 1:00 pm Thursday, Jan. 31.

A Cold Emergency Alert, the highest level of extreme temperature alert, is issued for the County when conditions, temperature combined with wind chill are forecasted to be below zero degrees; and there are other conditions that pose a significant threat to exposed human and animal life. Those may include: wind chill advisories or warnings from the National Weather Service and/or significant snow fall.

At this time, there is a Wind Chill Advisory for Montgomery County in which wind chills are expected to be below -5 to -10 degrees at times, the Wind Chill Advisory is in effect until 10:00 am Thursday morning.

There is always particular concern during periods of extreme cold for children, seniors, homeless individuals and animals. Everyone spending time outside should take necessary precautions against the extreme cold. Frostbite can occur with as little as 30 minutes of exposure to the cold. Anyone being outside should dress in layers of warm clothing and wear a hat. Nearly half of body heat is lost through the head. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold. Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves. Do not ignore shivering. It’s an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.

The County urges residents to 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. If you need relief from the cold, visit County facilities such as Libraries and Recreation Centers during normal business hours.

Anyone who has a concern for the safety of a homeless individual should call the police non-emergency number 301-279-8000 to report a person in possible danger. Neighbors, friends or family members should check on the elderly, especially a senior living alone. Older people are particularly susceptible to hypothermia, even inside their homes and may need assistance.

  • Montgomery County provides a variety of sheltering opportunities for the homeless.

  • Animals should not be left outside unattended. Leaving animals outside unattended in these conditions may be considered an act of cruelty and pet owners could be charged and fined accordingly. Executive Regulation 10-10AM, unattended tethering of dogs remains in effect. Call the police non-emergency number, 301-279-8000, to report an animal that appears to be in danger.

Community members should be aware of the following important information: