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Milwaukee Health Dept. urges caution with bitter cold

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) reminds all residents to take precautions as bitterly cold temperatures move into the region.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a wind chill advisory for the area, stating that cold temperatures and brisk winds may result in wind chills that could reach 25 below zero. The advisory begins 6 p.m. on Wednesday  through 6 a.m. on Thursday.

To safely beat the cold, the MHD offers the following cold-weather tips:

  • Minimize the time spent outdoors. If you do head outside, let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
  • Wear appropriate outdoor clothing and dress in layers. Ensure that exposed skin is covered, including your fingers, nose, and ears.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If you have pets, bring them inside and ensure trips outside are brief.

During cold weather, check on family members and neighbors who may be at risk for cold-weather illness or injuries, especially young children, the elderly, and those with chronic illness.

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