Record-breaking cold air came rolling through the Midwest on Jan. 30, with wind chill temperature dropping to around 35 below in Indianapolis. The extreme cold will continue into Thursday before temperatures go back to normal Friday. This kind of cold comes with dangers: You can start to get frostbite in as a little as five minutes without adequate clothing, and the risk of hypothermia increases.
If you need a space heater in your home, the Office of Public Health and Safety (OPHS) recommends plugging the heater into a wall outlet, keeping children at a safe distance and staying at least three feet away. OPHS recommends against using a stove or candle to heat your home, since both can be fire hazards.
If you’re going outside, check the weather and dress accordingly. In extreme cold like this, dress in layers, cover your skin to reduce the risk of frostbite and hypothermia, and change into dry clothing if you get wet. If you don’t need to go outside, it’s best to remain indoors.
The Emergency Operations Center will be active at 4 p.m. Jan. 30 and remain active through Jan. 31 to allow service agencies to track conditions and communicate closely with area hospitals, service providers and homeless shelters. Residents looking for shelter can call 211 and use Indy Parks facilities, malls and libraries during regular hours.
IndyGo is encouraging residents to clear sidewalks of snow and ice to make walking to bus stops safer. If you’re catching a bus, wear worm and visible clothing, plan trips ahead of time with a service such as Google Maps, walk carefully on sidewalks, and expect delays because of icy streets and traffic. IndyGo will send updated arrival times if you text “Arrival” with the five-digit bust stop ID to 25370.
Indianapolis EMS (IEMS) is warning to keep pets indoors. Failing to properly care for pets can lead to a $200 fine. For those concerned about an animal in their neighborhood, call the Mayor’s Action Center at 317-327-4622, and 317-327-3811 for emergencies after hours. Those needing help to keep their pets safe can call Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside (FIDO) at 317-221-1314. FIDO will work with Indianapolis Animal Care Services (IACS) to care for animals left in the cold throughout the city.