Montgomery County has issued a Hypothermia Alert for 11:00 pm Mon. 11/14 – 9:00 am Tues. 11/15. Expect the wind chill to be at or below 32 degrees. Wear layers and take extra precautions if you spend significant time outdoors during that time. A Hypothermia Alert is issued for the County when forecasted temperatures, and/or wind chill, in at least part of the County fall below 32 degrees creating a hazardous situation in which hypothermia and frostbite are likely.
There is always particular concern for children, seniors, homeless individuals and animals during periods of extreme cold.
- Neighbors, friends or family members should check on the elderly, especially a senior living alone. Older people are particularly susceptible to hypothermia, even inside their homes and may need assistance.
- Children engaged in outdoor activities should be carefully monitored by a responsible adult
- Everyone spending time outside should dress appropriately to protect against the cold
- Montgomery County provides a variety of sheltering opportunities for the homeless. Call the police non-emergency line, 301-279-8000 if an individual appears to be in danger.
- Animals should not be left outside unattended. See more information about animal care below.
- Residents in need of a place to warm up can visit County facilities such as libraries or recreation centers, or ride a Ride On bus, during normal operating hours. Ride on bus fares are free at this time. Face Coverings are required.
Hypothermia: Extreme cold is a dangerous situation that can bring on health emergencies in susceptible people, such as the very young, seniors, those without shelter or who are stranded, or who live in a home that is poorly insulated and/or without heat. Hypothermia can result from prolonged exposure to the cold. When exposed to cold temperatures, the body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. When the body’s store of energy is used up, the result is hypothermia. Because hypothermia can affect the brain, a person may not be aware that it is happening, and not take appropriate steps to prevent damage.
- Shivering, exhaustion
- Confusion, fumbling hands
- Memory loss, slurred speech
- For infants – bright red, cold skin, very low energy
What to do:
- If you notice any of these signs, take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95 degrees, the situation is an emergency – get medical attention immediately
- If the person is unconscious and does not seem to have a pulse or is not breathing, call 9-1-1
While waiting medical care:
- Get victim into a warm room or shelter
- Remove any wet clothing
- Warm the center of the body first – chest, neck, head and groin – using electric blanket if available, or use skin-to-skin-contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels or sheets
- Warm, nonalcoholic, beverages can help increase body temperatures if the victim is conscious