A wind chill advisory and hazardous weather outlook are in effect for northern Illinois and northwest Indiana thanks to single-digit temperatures and wind chills well below zero.
These warnings are on top of the cold weather alert the city of Chicago issued Monday afternoon.
Temperatures plunged overnight and will stay that way for much of the week. The air temperature could go as low as zero, but the wind chill will make it feel like it's 15 degrees below zero.
"These types of conditions can be very dangerous, especially for the sick, the elderly and those who live alone," said Streets & Sanitation Commissioner Jose Santiago.
A couple of reminders:
- Landlords must keep building temperatures at least 68 degrees during the day and 66 degrees at night. Residents should call the city's information line, 311, if their building can't reach that threshold.
- Anyone who can should limit their time outside to just a few minutes.
- When outside, wear several layers of loose, warm clothing. Pay special attention to keeping the head, ears, hands and feet covered and warm.
- Drink warm beverages and soup to help the body stay warm.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages, which dilates blood vessels and makes the body lose heat faster.
- Check on others.
- To prevent freezing pipes, run a trickle of water.
"For the very cold, we're going to be out here and we're going to find [homeless people]," said Erica Ernst, a social worker with Thresholds. "If they'll come inside, if they'll go seek shelter, if they'll go to the warming centers, we'll absolutely transport them there."
The city has warming centers, located within six Community Service Centers across the city, which can keep people warming during the daytime. Police stations, libraries and fire stations can be used as temporary warming centers, said Santiago.
The Department of Family and Support Services has approximately 4,000 overnight shelter beds in 60 shelters across the city that can take people in from the cold.