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Excessive Cold Prompts Opening of Warming Centers

(November 20, 2018) Anne Arundel County will open warming centers overnight on November 21, 2018 and November 22, 2018 in response to unseasonably cold temperatures and low wind chill temperatures. Temperatures are forecast to be in the low 20s with gusty winds, creating wind chill values in the teens. The following locations will be available to provide warming relief:

The following Anne Arundel County Police District Station Community Rooms will be available and designated as warming centers from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. Wednesday night, November 21, and Thursday night, November 22:

  • Northern District: 939 Hammonds Lane, Baltimore
  • Eastern District: 204 Pasadena Rd, Pasadena
  • Western District: 8273 Telegraph Road, Odenton
  • Southern District: 35 Stepneys Lane, Edgewater

All centers are accessible and have water and restroom facilities. Medical care is not available and anyone experiencing or observing a medical emergency should call 9-1-1. Pets are not allowed in any warming centers. Accommodations will be made for service animals. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

The Office of Emergency Management encourages residents to exercise caution during extremely cold temperatures. Whether inside or outside, cold weather can be dangerous to those who are not prepared to properly handle it.

Advanced hypothermia (decreased core body temperature) can be accompanied by stiffness, excessive shivering, confusion, slurred speech, numbness or a weak pulse. Watch for changes in levels of consciousness and motor coordination, indicated by stumbles, mumbles, fumbles, and grumbles. Symptoms of frostbite (skin damage due to cold temperatures) include gradual numbness, pale or purple skin, hard (wooden) skin, or tingling or burning in the impacted area. Call 9-1-1 if you or someone you know may be suffering from hypothermia or frostbite.

Children, older adults, and people with poor circulatory systems are at particular risk for hypothermia or frostbite. The Department of Health offers the following tips to help residents cope with winter conditions when outside:

  • Layer your clothing to have more flexibility and control over how warm you stay. Avoid cotton clothing for winter activities.
  • Prepare for the unexpected. Most hypothermia cases occur due to an unexpected change in the weather or temperature.
  • Wear a warm hat; up to 50 percent of body heat is lost through the head.
  • Avoid getting wet when the temperature dips.
  • Wear waterproof boots or shoes to keep your feet dry.
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol.

Residents should also be aware of the risks cold weather poses when inside homes and buildings. The Anne Arundel County Fire Department offers the following tips to help residents remain safe in their homes during cold conditions:

  • Store several days’ worth of non-perishable food and bottled water.
  • Keep several days’ worth of medications.
  • Keep fireplaces and wood-burning stoves clean.
  • Never leave space heaters on and unattended.
  • Ensure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are operating properly.
  • Check on older adults and neighbors and relatives with disabilities.

In accordance with § 12-4-809. Severe weather emergencies and alerts, the County Executive has issued a Severe Weather Animal Alert. For more information please visit Anne Arundel County Animal Care & Control's website at https://www.aacounty.org/departments/animal- control/index.html or visit their page on Facebook.

Anne Arundel County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Individuals with disabilities who need accommodations at the warming center should request the accommodation once they arrive at the facility.

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