Gusty winds and frigid temperatures are expected in the Chicago area over the coming days, leading Cook County officials to open warming centers for residents who need to escape the cold.
Wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour are expected in some locations Wednesday, causing blowing and drifting snow, along with frigid wind chills.
The cold will become even worse in coming days, as a cold front is expected to sweep through the region, leading to high temperatures in the teens on both Thursday and Friday.
The Cook County Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security (EMRS) is reminding residents to take the appropriate precautions to protect themselves and their families during this extremely cold weather.
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Residents who do not have adequate heating in their homes are encouraged to visit a warming center.
Cook County officials have an up-to-date list of warming centers throughout the area on their website, with these 19 sites included:
Bloom Township: 425 South Halsted St., Chicago Heights
Bremen Township: 16361 South Kedzie, Markham
Calumet Township: 12633 South Ashland, Calumet Park
Cicero Township: 2250 South 49th Avenue, Cicero
Cicero Township: 5444 West 34th Street, Cicero
Cicero Township: 4949 West Cermak, Cicero
Elk Grove Township: 600 Landmeier Road, Elk Grove Village
Hanover Township: 240 Route 59, Bartlett
Lemont Township: 1115 Warner Avenue, Lemont
Lemont Township: 16300 Alba Street, Lemont
Leyden Township: 2620 North Mannheim, Franklin Park
Orland Township: 14807 Ravinia Avenue, Orland Park
Palatine Township: 721 South Quentin Road, Palatine
Palos Township: 10802 South Roberts Road, Palos Hills
Proviso Township: 4565 Harrison Street, Hillside
Riverside: 27 Riverside Road, Riverside
Schaumburg Township: 1 Illinois Boulevard, Hoffman Estates
Schiller Park: 9526 West Irving Park Road, Schiller Park
Stickney Township: 7745 South Leamington, Burrbank
EMRS urges residents to keep the following tips in mind through the cold winter months:
- Never use your oven for heat.
- Never bring charcoal or gas grills indoors (they are a carbon monoxide hazard).
- Make sure all portable heaters are unplugged when not in use.
- Use electric space heaters with extreme caution – avoid placing them near curtains or other flammable materials and turn them off before going to bed.
- Keep heat at adequate levels or leave faucets open with a slight drip to prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep moving. Your body generates its own heat when you engage in physical activities.