Mayor Tom Barrett
Press Release

Residents are Urged to Take Precautions as Temperatures Drop Below Freezing

 

By - Feb 5th, 2021 04:04 pm

MILWAUKEE—The City of Milwaukee urges residents to take precautions as temperatures drop below freezing. Individuals should limit the time they spend outdoors and wear the appropriate warm clothing that covers exposed skin, including fingers, nose and ears.

During cold weather, stay 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-threating, and occurs when the body temperature drops too low, causing shivering, drowsiness, clumsiness and confusion. Both require immediate medical treatment.

If traveling, be sure to make a car survival kit that includes: blankets, extra clothing and high-energy foods. Check to see that your vehicle’s fuel tank is at least half full and the battery is charged.

Water pipes and water meters can freeze within hours if exposed to cold air, which can result in a cut off of water to the household. It can be expensive to repair or replace burst pipes. Residents should take simple steps to prevent damage, such as always keeping inside temperatures above 32 degrees, wrapping pipes with insulation or heat tape or allowing a trickle of water to run from a faucet to keep water moving and prevent freezing. If you have damaged water pipes in your home, please call a licensed plumber for assistance. More helpful tips are available at milwaukee.gov/water/News/Winter-in-Milwaukee.

If you have no water, call the Milwaukee Water Works Customer Service Center at (414) 286-2830, Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. After 5 p.m. and on weekends, call the Control Center at (414) 286-3710. TDD (414) 286-8801.

If you have a frozen or damaged water meter, call Meter Services at (414) 286-8000, Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. After 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and at any time on Sunday, call (414) 286-3710. TDD (414) 286-8801. Email watwebcs@milwaukee.gov for non-emergency contact.

Don’t forget to check on family members and friends who may be at-risk for injuries or illness, especially the elderly and those with certain medical conditions. Also, be sure to limit the amount of time children and pets spend outdoors.

Please know that there are services available to anyone seeking a warm and safe place to shelter from the cold. Individuals should call 2-1-1 for information and support. As the lead agency for the Milwaukee Continuum of Care, the City of Milwaukee partners with Community Advocates, the Milwaukee County Housing Division, Pathfinders and Outreach Community Health Centers to proactively shelter individuals from the cold. To date, the most recent count of street homeless individuals has totaled between 20-30 individuals.

The City utilizes three hotels throughout the city to serve as safe and isolated locations for individuals who are street homeless. The use of hotels has helped mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among this vulnerable population. In the case that an individual is COVID-positive or symptomatic, Claire Hall is being utilized as an isolation site.

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