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Mayor Barrett provides warming center, cold weather safety information

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MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Wednesday, December 14th held a news conference to provide cold weather safety information. He asked that everyone exercise common sense, and take care of themselves in the cold. He asked that we make sure to keep an eye on the most vulnerable. This, as a Wind Chill ADVISORY is set to take effect at 9:00 p.m. Wednesday.

The FOX6 Weather Experts said highs would be in the teens Wednesday, and it would feel below zero at times. Wind chills were expected at 15 to 25 below on Wednesday. On Thursday, December 15th, even colder air arrives -- with highs expected in the single digits and sub-zero lows.

A Wind Chill Advisory means that very cold air and strong winds would combine to generate low wind chills -- resulting in frostbite and leading to hypothermia if precautions weren't taken.

Staying in heated areas is the easiest way to protect yourself during periods of extreme cold.

You should consider visiting public buildings like malls, libraries and community centers if your home is insufficiently heated.

Call 211 for information about resources specific to your area.

There are several warming shelters available throughout Milwaukee County:

Warming Rooms in Milwaukee County

  • Repairers of the Breach

1335 W Vliet Street in Milwaukee

Open from 8:00 p.m.-4:00 a.m.

Walk-in from 8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. for entry

  • Tippecanoe Church

125 W Saveland Avenue in Milwaukee

Call 211 for entry

  • Feeding His Flock

1610 S. 81st Street in West Allis

Open when temperatures are 10 degrees or below, 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.

Walk-in for entry

  • Guest House of Milwaukee

1216 N 13th Street in Milwaukee

Call 211 for entry

Daytime Warming Rooms in Milwaukee County

  • Salvation Army Daytime Warming Rooms

8853 S. Howell in Milwaukee

Open 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. M-F

Walk-in for entry or call 414-762-3993

4129 W Villard in Milwaukee

Open 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. M-F

Walk-in for entry

  • All’s Bright Warming Center

5555 W. Capitol Drive in Milwaukee

Open when temperatures are 20 degrees or below, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Call 414-731-1174 for entry

  • Other Shelters in Milwaukee County

Call 211 for information about places to stay warm, including emergency shelter options that are available year-round.

Feeding His Flock warming shelter

Feeding His Flock warming shelter

Officials say the most vulnerable when it comes to the bitter cold are children, the elderly, and of course, the homeless. On average, there can be 200-250 people living on the streets in Milwaukee.

"We are working very closely with our local homeless shelters. Our focus is making sure we have enough capacity with some of the warming rooms," Rafael Acevedo said.

Mayor Barrett reminded residents to always check on elderly relatives and neighbors throughout the season, and especially during extreme temperature events.

"Make sure to check on family members and friends, neighbors -- the elderly, the disabled, and people who have nobody living with them," Mayor Barrett said.

Colder weather can put the elderly at higher risk for health problems.

Cold weather

Mayor Barrett on Wednesday stressed that everyone follow basic winter safety tips -- like dressing appropriately for the weather -- wearing gloves, scarves, hats and jackets, and it's important to limit skin exposure to the bitter cold.

"Hypothermia is a life-threatening situation and it occurs when body temperatures drop too low, causing shivering, drowsiness and confusion.The cold wind chills will cause frostbite in as little as 30 minutes to exposed skin. Cover those ears. Gloves. Wear those mittens. Wear those hats. Again -- this is all basic stuff," Barrett said.

It's also a good idea to keep a survival kit in your vehicle with blankets and extra clothing in case you become stranded -- and remember, it's a good idea to keep your vehicle secured at all times.

Cold weather

"Do not keep your car running unless you are in it. This is the time of year we see an increase in auto thefts," Barrett said.

If you'd like to help those less fortunate, you can donate jackets, blankets and non-perishable food items at any shelter or warming room.

You can stay safe all winter long by following these health and safety tips:

  1. Be Prepared:
  • Have furnaces checked annually before winter to ensure they are working efficiently and safely.
  • Pay attention to local news and weather reports. If you know of someone who may not be aware of weather warnings, including individuals with hearing loss, share the information with them.
  • Create a cold-weather preparedness kit for your family that includes:
    • Candles and matches
    • Hand-cranked or battery-operated flashlight and radio
    • Cellular phone
    • Extra batteries
    • Blankets or sleeping bags
    • Extra clothing
    • High-calorie non-perishable food
    • Extra food and water for pets
    • First aid kits and any medications you require
    • Tool kit

2. Stay safe at home:

  • Heat your home with devices approved for indoor use, and ensure they are properly vented to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning or fires. Never use wood-burning or coal-burning grills, camp stoves, or other outdoor devices indoors. Remember to keep flammable materials such as newspapers or clothing away from portable heaters.
  • Make sure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
  • Be prepared for power outages in your neighborhood. This can be due to wind or ice. Have blankets and warm clothing on hand to keep you warm. A preparedness kit is good to have around.

3. Stay safe outdoors:

  • When heading outdoors, let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
  • Wear appropriate outdoor clothing and ensure that exposed skin is covered, including your fingers, nose, and ears. Keep children indoors.
  • Be aware of the symptoms of both frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite can occur within minutes when unprotected skin is exposed to very cold temperatures, causing the affected area to appear white or grayish-yellow in color and feel firm or waxy. Hypothermia is life-threatening, and occurs when the body temperature drops too low, causing shivering, drowsiness, clumsiness and confusion. Both require immediate medical treatment.
  • Do not touch metal surfaces with uncovered hands. Flesh can freeze instantly to a surface.
  • If you have pets, bring them inside and ensure trips outside are brief.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages. Alcohol causes the body to lose its heat more rapidly – even though one may feel warmer after drinking alcoholic beverages.

4. Stay safe when traveling:

  • Make a car survival kit that includes blankets, sleeping bags, extra clothing and high-energy foods.
  • Ensure that your vehicle’s fuel tank is at least half-full and that the battery is charged.



  • bombacim

    This guy is awesome. Stays hiding under his desk most of the year while body counts keep piling up and poverty goes through the roof, to announce some common sense advice.

  • Taco Juan

    Mr Barrett would you all to come campout at his office. The next few nights are going to be cold. Tom wants to put his money where his mouth is. In addition he’ll take about 100 people to his residence for safe keeping. Also FOx ^ will open their studios for those of you seeking shelter from the cold temps.

  • will greb

    As a matter of fact, back in the early 50’s when I was just a yelp, before sending me off to walk to school in weather like we are seeing this week, my mum would always say, ” You have to dress warm today stupid, it’s cold out!” , and then I got the inspection … I didn’t buy you these mittens, hat ,scarf, boots,winter jacket to hang in the closet!
    enough said. So if some ignorant *uck wants to stay out tonight, it’s called , thinning the herd.

  • walloffthenorthside

    Barrett is an idiot. Let’s hold a press conference to tell people to dress warm when it’s cold. How about addressing the crime on the northside and doing something about it?

Comments are closed.