Providence residents urged to exercise caution during frigid conditions

Residents Urged to Exercise Caution During Frigid Conditions

Businesses Asked to Consider Early Release Today To Help Avoid Forecasted Drive-Time Squall
– Residents are urged to exercise caution and take steps to protect themselves from dangerous weather conditions expected tonight and tomorrow.
Temperatures are expected to drop rapidly into the single digits throughout the evening and continue through the day on Thursday. Wind gusts up to 25 miles per hour are expected to accompany the low temperatures, creating dangerously cold weather conditions.
Forecasters also predict the City could experience a short duration of heavy snowfall during the drive-time commute this evening, with approximately one inch of rapid snow. The snowfall may only last a matter of minutes but may impede travel due to reduced visibility and rapid coating on roadways.
The City is encouraging businesses and employers to brief employees about this evening's weather conditions and to allow employees to work flexible hours today to reduce travel during the forecasted snow squall.
The Department of Public Works has begun pretreating roadways throughout the City, beginning with school bus routes. All bus routes will be pretreated before regularly scheduled school dismissal.
Mayor Elorza has been in contact with Public Safety officials regarding the City's response to the anticipated cold weather. Parents should stay alert for a decision on school closure for Thursday as more information becomes available later in the day.
Public safety personnel and first responders will be on the lookout for homeless persons needing shelter tonight.
All residents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the following cold weather safety procedures. Residents in need of assistance should contact the United Way's 211 telephone call center. In the event of an emergency, dial 911.
Staying Safe

•         Avoid unnecessary and/or prolonged exposure to extreme cold and wind;
•         Wear a hat, hood or scarf, as most heat is lost through the head;
•         Dress in layers to provide better insulation and protection from the elements;
•         Keep clothing dry and removes layers that become wet;
•         Keep pets indoors;
•         Check on elderly neighbors.
Exposure to extreme cold can cause serious and life-threatening injuries such as frostbite and hypothermia within minutes.

Symptoms of hypothermia include slurred speech, sluggishness, confusion, dizziness, shallow breathing, unusual behavior, and slow, irregular heartbeat. Symptoms of frostbite include gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, and waxy-feeling skin.
If you believe someone is suffering from these conditions, bring them to a warm environment and seek medical attention immediately.

The City of Providence is fully prepared to open an emergency warming shelter if there is a need. At this time, those seeking EMERGENCY shelter should head to Crossroads RI.

(release from City of Providence)