Mayor Tom Barrett
Press Release

Mayor Barrett Encourages Residents to Familiarize Themselves with Cold Weather Safety Information

Proper precautions are necessary to stay safe and healthy all season long

By - Dec 14th, 2016 01:06 pm

MILWAUKEE – Mayor Tom Barrett and the City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) are reminding all residents to take precautions as bitterly cold temperatures move into the area this week.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a wind chill advisory for the area, stating that cold temperatures and brisk winds may result in wind chills that could reach 20 to 25 below zero. The advisory begins 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14, through 10 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 15.

“As we move into temperatures much more typical for this time of year – where we could see wind chills dip below zero – I want to remind all Milwaukee area residents to take common sense safety steps,” Mayor Barrett said. “Taking simple precautions can prevent injuries and save lives.”

“Extreme cold temperatures can create serious health hazards,” said Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker. “Whether heading outdoors or remaining indoors, we urge all area residents to follow our safety tips.”

To safely beat the cold, the MHD offers these cold-weather tips:

  • Minimize the time you spend outdoors when wind chills dip below zero.
  • Wear appropriate clothing, being sure to cover exposed skin, including your fingers, nose and ears.
  • Be aware of the symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite can occur within minutes when unprotected skin is exposed to very cold temperatures, causing the affected area to appear white or grayish-yellow in color and feel firm or waxy.
  • Hypothermia is life-threatening, and occurs when the body temperature drops too low, causing shivering, drowsiness, clumsiness and confusion. Both require immediate medical treatment.
  • If traveling, make a car survival kit that includes blankets, extra clothing and high-energy foods. Be sure that your vehicle’s fuel tank is at least half full and the battery is charged.
  • Heat your home with devices approved for indoor use. Never use wood-burning or coal-burning grills, camp stoves, or other outdoor devices indoors.
  • Keep pets safe by bringing them indoors and keep trips outside brief.

It is very important during cold weather to check on family members and neighbors who may be at risk for illness or injuries, especially young children, the elderly, and those with certain medical conditions.

All regular area warming shelters that are open on weekends will be in operation, including Milwaukee Public Library locations during their regular hours. If you are in need of a warming shelter or overnight shelter, please dial 2-1-1.

For further information, visit or call (414) 286–CITY.

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