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Bitter cold swoops into SE Wisconsin and puts stress on warming centers, your home

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MILWAUKEE -- First, it was the snow. Now, the bitter cold is causing challenges at some warming centers in Milwaukee.

With temperatures expected to be in the single digits and wind chills that are already sub-zero, it is not safe to be outside for very long.

Shelters like Repairers of the Breach were full of people keeping warm on Thursday, Feb. 13. The executive director tells FOX6 News two warming centers nearby recently closed permanently. So right now, Repairers is seeing a higher than usual need in the community for places to go to keep warm during this cold stretch.

Workers at the shelter on Thursday passed out hand warmers, coats, hats, scarves and gloves from generous donors. This, to help prepare dozens of people for the bitter temperatures Thursday night and into Friday.

"There's a number of people who might be without housing tonight and who realize if I stay outside, I'll die. And so, Repairers of the Breach is known for a place of shelter and refuge and resources," said James West, Executive Director of Repairers of the Breach.

Some who are homeless for various reasons will not be seeking help. They are wearing as many layers as they can to get through.

Cold stresses out your home

The bitter cold will also put added stress on buildings and houses -- which is why Wisconsin Focus on Energy offers these tips:

  • Keep your vents clear
  • Replace your filters regularly
  • Avoid using space heaters if possible
  • Insulate exposed pipes
  • Use spot ventilation (like fans after a shower to avoid mold)
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