City of Alexandria Urges Caution During Dangerously Cold Temperatures

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City of Alexandria Urges Caution During Dangerously Cold Temperatures

For Immediate Release: January 5, 2018

The City of Alexandria urges caution based on dangerously cold temperatures in the region, which have resulted in forecasted wind chills as low as 10 degrees below zero. The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Advisory for Friday night and Saturday morning, meaning that cold wind chills will cause frostbite to exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes. Time outdoors should be limited as much as possible, and those who must be outdoors should take precautions to stay safe.

Use these tips and resources to keep you, your loved ones and others safe during extremely cold weather:

Outdoors

  • If you must be outdoors, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Make sure your outer layer is tightly woven and windproof. Wool clothing keeps you warmer than cotton when it is damp and wet.
  • Clothing should include sweaters, boots, hats, gloves and scarves. Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to prevent losing body heat.
  • Bring pets indoors. If they cannot come inside your home, make sure they have enough shelter to keep warm and that they have access to unfrozen water.

Indoors

  • Use caution when operating space heaters or fireplaces, and never leave them unattended by adults. Before leaving the room or going to bed, turn space heaters off and make sure fireplace embers are out.
  • Space heaters should only be used on level, hard surfaces and kept at least three feet away from flammable items like paper, clothing, bedding, curtains, or rugs.
  • If using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
  • Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
  • To keep your pipes from freezing, run a continuous trickle of water. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around plumbing.
  • If your power goes out, report it to Dominion Virginia Power at 866.DOM.HELP (866.366.4357) or www.dom.com.
  • To report a water main break or for questions about water service, contact Virginia American Water at 800.452.6863.
  • For more winter weather safety tips and information, visit the Ready.gov Snowstorms & Extreme Cold page.

Helping Others

  • Check on neighbors who are elderly, or have special needs, to make sure they are safe.
  • If you see someone who may be in need of shelter, please call 703.746.4444, 24 hours a day, so a first responder or caseworker can evaluate the situation.
  • During wintry or cold weather, those experiencing homelessness may access the Alexandria Winter Shelter Collaborative, located at Carpenter's Shelter (930 N. Henry St.). The shelter accommodates men, women, and families with children. The shelter opens at 7 p.m. during the winter, and during more extreme weather, may open earlier or remain open. Please check the City’s Homeless Services webpage for status. For more information, contact the shelter at 703.548.7500. For information about the housing assistance, shelters, and related City resources, visit the Homeless Services webpage.

Remember: For immediate police, fire, or emergency medical response, call 9-1-1. For other urgent situations, call 703.746.4444.

Be Alert

Stay informed of weather-related events by monitoring local media and government information for official news and information. Visit the City’s Be Alert page to learn about the many ways you can stay in touch with local government and emergency authorities during an emergency, ranging from the free Alexandria eNews service to social media channels.

For more information on winter weather preparedness, visit alexandriava.gov/Snow.

For media inquiries, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3959.

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/101348.

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