With high winds and low temperatures heading into the region overnight, emergency services personnel and other Metro staff held a news conference to remind residents of simple advice to help them, their homes and their pets stay safe and warm.
The tips were, for the most part, common sense — bundle up if you go outside; limit your time outdoors; bring your pets in the house; let your faucets drip even if you have insulated pipes; don’t use your stove burner to help heat your home.
External heat sources, such as space heaters, are one of the leading causes of fires, noted Major Bobby Cooper with Louisville Fire. Burners also can lead to fires, as well as the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning.
John Gordon, meteorologist-in-charge for the National Weather Service in Louisville, said the region will see its coldest temperatures since 1994. Wind chills in the midmorning starting around 9 a.m. will result in temperatures of 19 t0 20 below in Louisville, and in Indiana, it will be “much colder,” he said, as winds are expected to reach more than 20 miles per hour.
“As Foghorn Leghorn used to say, ‘it’s going to be colder than a nudist on an iceberg,’ ” Gordon said.
The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for Jefferson County from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, and Jefferson County Public Schools announced that school is canceled tomorrow.
“Just try to stay warm and stay hydrated,” said Jesse Yarbrough, assistant director of operations for Louisville Emergency Services, adding that people should limit caffeine and alcohol if they are out in the cold as both may constrict blood vessels.
Harold Adams, the communications specialist for Louisville Metro Department of Public Works, also encouraged people to stay indoors as much as possible. Public Works employees will still be out collecting waste and performing other duties, but the city will equip them with insulating clothing, hand warmers and other items to ensure they stay warm.
While those in homes and apartments should watch out for downed power lines and freezing water pipes, a number of organizations, including Wayside Christian Mission, the Salvation Army, Forgotten Louisville and Fed With Faith, will be encouraging the homeless to go to a shelter and will be checking on those who may opt to stay outside. Wayside alone has added 100 beds to give more of Louisville’s homeless a haven from the outdoor elements, said Eric Friedlander, the city’s chief resilience officer.
Louisville Metro also recently allocated more than $500,000 to organizations such as those listed above for emergency homeless services.
“We think we are going to be in a better position this year” than in past, he said.