The Department of Emergency Response in Tompkins County is alerting residents to make sure they take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from frostbite and hypothermia as temperatures are expected to plummet with wind chills expected to be minus 20 degrees.
Mark Pellerito, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Binghamton, said “This will be by far the coldest air we’ve experienced this winter, with confidence fairly high of seeing wind chills of -15 to -20 degrees for Tompkins County Friday night.”
Warning signs of hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling of hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness. The effects of frostbite show freezing of specific body parts including fingers, toes, the nose, or earlobes. The warning signs of frostbite is the lack of feeling in an affected area, skin appearing waxy, cold to touch, or discolored.
Tompkins County does offer emergency shelter on nights where temperatures fall below 32 degrees. That location is at 320 W. MLK Jr St./State St. (from 8:00am to 4:30pm) or St John’s Community Services at 618 W. MLK Jr St./State St. in Ithaca for emergencies after hours.
“It’s important to remember that well below zero wind chills can lead to frostbite on exposed skin in a matter of minutes,” stated Geoff Dunn, Community Preparedness Coordinator for Tompkins County Emergency Response. “Limit your time outdoors, dress in layers, and be sure to wear gloves, a hat and a scarf to protect your face.”
Information regarding other services, supports, and community resources are made available to those utilizing emergency shelter. Call Emergency Services at DSS at: 607-274-5644 or 607-274-5341.