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Joliet offers cold-weather tips; forecast stays frigid

Louis Joliet Mall in a one of the city's designated warming centers.
Louis Joliet Mall in a one of the city's designated warming centers.

JOLIET – The city of Joliet on Wednesday announced cold weather shelters and provided cold weather advice.

The announcement came amid forecasts for continued frigid weather expected to last until late next week.

Residents can seek shelter from the cold at the following locations:

• Louis Joliet Mall between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday;

• Daybreak Center at 611 E. Cass St., where an overnight warm shelter will be open;

• MorningStar Mission at 350 E. Washington St., where an overnight warm shelter will be open.

The National Weather Service forecast was a high of 7 degrees on Wednesday, with temperatures falling to a low of 2 degrees at night.

Temperatures should warm up to highs of 16 on Thursday and 17 on Friday before dropping again for the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. The high on Saturday is forecast at 7 degrees, with temperatures dropping to minus 1 during the night. The high for Sunday is expected to be 12 degrees.

Light snow with accumulations up to about a half-inch could occur Thursday and Friday, said Edward Feneton, meteorologist at the National Weather Service station in Romeoville.

“The cold will continue for a good part of next week,” Feneton said.

Seasonal norms with temperatures in the 30s could return late next week, he said.

Joliet advises residents to check on the elderly, those with medical conditions and people with special needs during periods of extreme cold.

Advice for keeping warm at home includes:

• Hang blankets over windows at night, but let the sun shine in during the day;

• Cover cracks around doors with rugs, towels, newspapers or similar material;

• Use safeguards and ensure proper ventilation when using alternative heat from a fireplace, wood stove or space heater.

Advice for outdoors includes:

• Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow, walking in deep snow or pushing cars stuck in snow, since strain from cold and hard labor can cause heart attacks for people at any age;

• If stranded, seek shelter to stay dry, cover all exposed parts of the body, and do not eat unmelted snow, which will lower body temperature;

• Beware of frostbite that can cause permanent damage by watching for symptoms that include numbness and a white or pale appearance of the skin, and seek medical attention if such symptoms occur;

• Beware of hypothermia, or low body temperature, which can be life-threatening and is detectable from symptoms that include slurred speech, incoherence, memory loss, disorientation, uncontrollable shivering, drowsiness, repeated stumbling and apparent exhaustion.

The city advises seeking medical help for anyone whose body temperature falls below 95 degrees.

If medical help is not available, begin warming the person slowly, the city advises. Always warm the body core first. Warming arms and legs first can cause cause cold blood to flow to the heart and lead to heart failure. Get the person into dry clothing and wrap him in a warm blanket covering the head and neck.

Do not give a person with hypothermia alcohol, drugs, coffee or any hot beverage, the city advises. Warm broth is better.