Warming centers open in Wayne County ahead of subzero temperatures
National Weather Service expects frigid weekend temperatures
DETROIT – Wayne County communities have opened warming centers after the National Weather Service predicted temperatures below zero Thursday night and over the weekend.
"This is the time when Wayne County communities come together to protect those who are less fortunate," said county executive Warren C. Evans. "Please lend a hand to those who don’t have shelter, and check on elderly or infirm neighbors who are vulnerable to the effects of cold weather."
A warming center has also been opened at Team Wellness Center at 2925 Russell Street in Detroit for people in Eastern Market. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and some Saturdays. A free shuttle to overnight shelters and warming centers will be available.
Officials said residents should pay special attention to seniors, very young children and anyone with a pre-existing medical condition during the cold winter months. Residents are advised to check on older neighbors who might be isolated from friends and family.
"With subzero weather come concerns about frostbite, which can occur on exposed skin in less than 10 minutes," said Dr, Mouhanad Hammami, director of the Department of Health, Veterans and Community Wellness. "Symptoms include the loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in fingers, toes, ear tips and tip of the nose. If you see these signs, seek medical care immediately."
Here are additional health and safety tips from officials:
- The temperature inside your home should be set according to your own activity level, health and medications. What is an acceptable, fuel-saving temperature for an active family might not be safe for an older person who has difficulty moving or who takes certain medications.
- Insulate water pipes to keep them from freezing.
- Keep a blanket and/or hats and gloves in your vehicle if you become stranded without heat.
- Remove clothing if it gets damp or wet. Wet clothing can make you more prone to hypothermia.
- Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Symptoms of frostbite can include loss of feeling and loss of color usually on the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Symptoms of hypothermia in adults can include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, drowsiness or slurred speech. In infants, symptoms of hypothermia can include bright red, cold skin and low energy.
- Pets get cold too. If it is too cold for you to be outside, it’s too cold for your pet as well. Do not leave cats and dogs outside for prolonged periods of time.
Anyone who needs urgent medical help should call 911 immediately. You can find more information on the government's winter weather information page.
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