Arctic temperatures will impact the area today, January 28, and this weekend. Cold weather will also set the stage for a potential winter storm early next week. The City of Norwalk is advising residents to take common-sense steps to protect their health and safety. Residents in need of shelter or other assistance should contact 2-1-1. Additional information is posted on the City’s Snow Center at norwalkct.org/snow.
Mayor Rilling has opened the Community Room at the Norwalk Police Department to act as a warming center. Residents must wear a well-fitting mask or face covering (two or more layers) over their nose and mouth and secure it under their chin. Those at the Community Room must also physically distance by maintaining a space of at least six feet between themselves and those not from the same household. Other options for warming spaces include visiting friends or family, a movie theater or shopping mall. Please continue to follow all COVID-19 protocols. Here are additional safety tips:
- If you must go outside, make it as brief as possible. Dress warmly in windproof clothing and go indoors when you begin to feel cold. Wear several layers of loose-fitting clothing to trap body heat. Fasten buttons or zippers and tighten drawstrings securely. Don't forget gloves, mittens, and a hat that covers the ears.
- Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat.
- If you are spending time outside, do not ignore shivering - it is a vital first sign that your body is losing heat and a signal to return indoors quickly.
- Older adults are especially susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite. People who have older relatives or neighbors should keep an eye on them during the cold winter months.
- If it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside. If left outdoors, pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, or injured. In addition, don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze.
- Stay indoors and dress warmly.
- If you need to use an alternate heating source such as a fireplace or wood-burning stove, be sure to have adequate ventilation to the outside. Without enough fresh air, carbon monoxide fumes can build up in your home and cause sickness or even death. Keep children away from all heaters to avoid accidental burns. Never use a stove or fireplace unless it is properly installed and vented.
- Never use a natural gas or propane stove/oven or charcoal grill to heat your home.
- Space heaters account for 43% of home heating fires. Make sure your space heater is at least three feet away from materials that can easily catch fire such as furniture, bedding and curtains. Never leave an electric space heater unattended while it is operating. Make sure your heater is placed on a level surface where pets and children cannot reach it.
Older adults, infants, and young children, and people with disabilities are especially at risk from the cold. If you have at-risk friends, neighbors, or relatives, check in on them periodically while following COVID-19 public health safety precautions. Consider connecting with family and friends by telephone, e-mail, text messages, video chat, and social media.
For additional winter weather safety tips visit ready.gov, redcross.org and nfpa.org.