The National Weather Service in Northern Indiana Hazardous Weather Outlook is advising wind chills tonight and into early Wednesday morning are expected to drop to zero or up to 10 below zero.  They are also forecasting similar conditions again Thursday night into Friday morning.

Exposure to extreme temperatures and or wind chills such as those forecasted can be dangerous to people, animals, and property.  Prolonged exposure can lead to frostbite and even hypothermia.  Extremely cold temperatures can be hard on utilities such as water pipes.  Some residents may use alternate heating sources to keep warm which could lead to an increase in the number of house fires or possible carbon monoxide poisoning.

Marshall County EMA encourages citizens to limit their time outdoors during extreme temperatures.  Be sure pets have adequate shelter with dry bedding or bring them inside if possible.  Be sure to provide them with plenty of fresh drinking water.  Prevent frozen pipes by insulating them with insulation sleeves or wrapping.  Allow a little water to drip from a faucet to keep water flowing. 

For alternate heating sources, we encourage the following preparedness actions:

  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment and keep children at least 3 feet away.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
  • Never refuel heaters indoors. 
  • All heaters that run on fuel should be vented.
  • Before purchasing a portable heater, make sure it has “tip switches.”  These switches are designed to automatically shut off the heating unit in the event it tips over.
  • REMEMBER…Always turn portable heaters off when leaving the house or before going to bed.
  • Glass doors or a metal screen should be placed in front of the fireplace to prevent sparks or hot ash from igniting carpets, furniture, or other combustible items.
  • Do not burn charcoal designed for barbeque grills indoors…not even in a fireplace or wood-burning stove.  It releases odorless, but toxic, carbon monoxide fumes that can cause death.
  • INSTALL smoke alarms on every level of your home, as well as near every bedroom in the home, and test the alarms monthly.  REMEMBER to change batteries at least once a year.
  • INSTALL and maintain a carbon monoxide detector.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY – Develop a family emergency plan that includes what action family members should take in case of a fire…then practice it to make sure everyone knows what to do.