Staying Safe and Warm This Winter
Extreme cold weather can be unforgiving and pose serious risks to our health and safety. Whether you find yourself in a winter storm, a polar vortex, or a freezing climate, it’s crucial to be prepared and knowledgeable about staying safe in such conditions. By following these guidelines, you can minimize the risks associated with extreme cold and enjoy the winter season with confidence
One of the most important aspects of staying safe in extreme cold is dressing appropriately. Layering your clothing is key to retaining body heat and protecting yourself from the cold. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep your skin dry. Add insulating layers such as fleece or wool, and finish with a windproof and waterproof outer layer. Don’t forget to cover your head, hands, and feet with hats, gloves, and insulated boots to prevent heat loss from these extremities.
Be Mindful of Frostbite and Hypothermia
Frostbite and hypothermia are serious risks in extreme cold. Frostbite occurs when skin and underlying tissues freeze, while hypothermia is a dangerous drop in body temperature. Recognizing the early signs of these conditions is crucial.
Symptoms of frostbite include numbness, tingling, pale or waxy skin, and blisters.
Hypothermia symptoms include shivering, confusion, drowsiness, slurred speech, and weak pulse.
If you or someone you’re with experiences these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Stay Hydrated and Nourished
Staying hydrated and nourished is essential for maintaining body temperature and energy levels in extreme cold. Even though you may not feel as thirsty in cold weather, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids. Opt for warm beverages like herbal tea or hot water with lemon to keep you hydrated and warm.
Additionally, consume high-energy foods that provide essential nutrients and calories to fuel your body. Foods rich in carbohydrates and healthy fats, such as nuts, granola bars, and dried fruits, can help sustain your energy levels.
Prepare Your Home and Vehicle
Extreme cold can also impact your home and vehicle. To ensure your safety, take necessary precautions. Insulate your home properly, seal any drafts, and keep your heating system in good working condition.
Have emergency supplies on hand, including blankets, flashlights, batteries, and non-perishable food items.
When it comes to your vehicle, maintain regular maintenance checks, keep the gas tank at least half full, and equip it with an emergency kit containing items like a shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, and a first aid kit.
Stay Informed and Plan Ahead
Before venturing out in extreme cold, stay informed about weather conditions and forecasts. Pay attention to warnings and advisories issued by local authorities. Plan your activities accordingly, avoiding unnecessary travel during severe weather. If you must travel, inform someone about your plans and expected arrival time. It’s also wise to have a backup plan and alternative routes in case of road closures or other emergencies.
Surviving extreme cold requires preparation, knowledge, and vigilance. By dressing appropriately, being aware of frostbite and hypothermia, staying hydrated and nourished, preparing your home and vehicle, and staying informed, you can significantly reduce the risks associated with extreme cold weather. Remember, your safety should always be the top priority when facing harsh winter conditions. Stay warm, stay safe!
Resources in The Quad City Area
If you find yourself in need of a warm place to avoid the extreme temperatures, here are some local organizations that may be able to provide assistance.
Scott County Warming Centers
Humility Homes and Services in Davenport
- The emergency shelter is open year-round for those who are looking to transition to permanent housing in the Quad Cities. The shelter, located at 1016 W. 5th St. in Davenport, is open to men and women who are 18 or older and has 70 beds.
- To support Humility Homes and Services, donate money here or donate an item from the organization’s Amazon wish list.
Salvation Army of the Quad Cities and Davenport
- The Salvation Army’s shelter program, located at 100 Kirkwood Blvd. in Davenport, provides up to 30 days of shelter to unhoused families. It also offers financial assistance to cover emergency overnight housing costs or refers people to partner programs with emergency shelter programs.
- Complete this eligibility assessment to see if you qualify for assistance.
- To support the shelter, donate to the local Salvation Armyhere.
- Winnie’s Place is a shelter program for women with or without children who are unhoused and/or survivors of domestic abuse. The shelter, located at 2535 Tech Dr. in Bettendorf, provides safe housing, food, clothing and support free of charge. If you need shelter, call (309) 757-0757.
- To support the shelter, cash or item donations are accepted at the shelter or the Churches United Office. Bus passes are the most needed items – especially for the Illinois Quad Cities – to help transport women at the shelter to job interviews. Gift cards to Hy-Vee, Aldi, Walmart and Dollar General are also welcome because they can be used to purchase bus tickets.
King’s Harvest Ministies Winter Shelter
- Available for both men and women, this winter shelter located at 824 West 3rd St. in Davenport operates from Dec. 1 through April 15, 2023. Check-in is from 9 to 10 p.m. at the men’s shelter and 8 to 9 p.m. at the women’s shelter. Both shelters close at 7 a.m. For those with pets, King’s Harvest offers a pet assistance program as well to help those looking for permanent housing. More information is available by calling (563) 570-4536.
- Those looking to help the work King’s Harvest Ministries is doing can make a donation online here or can drop off needed items at their 3rd Street location on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Items in need include body wash, men’s and women’s deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, tennis shoes for people of all genders and ages, styrofoam dishes and cleaning products.
- King’s Harvest Ministries also has a family shelter and information on that can be found by calling the organization at (563) 570-4536
Rock Island County Warming Centers
Christian Care in Rock Island
- This organization provides safe shelter for men aged 18 or older. The shelter, located at 2209 3rd Ave. in Rock Island,holds 42 beds, with six of the beds designated for its Veterans Transitional Housing Program.
- Christian Care also provides shelter to women and their children at their Martha’s House location in Rock Island, with 20 beds available.
- The warming center is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. when the temps are below 15 degrees. The facility does close before lunch between 11:30 a.m. and noon as well as before dinner between 5:30 and 6 p.m.
- To support the shelter, gift a monetary donation to Christian Care, buy most-needed items from the group’s Amazon wish list, drop off food and water daily or donate the following items from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the shelter: men’s clothing items, cleaning supplies, hygiene products (especially deodorant), new pillows, large cans of vegetables, paper products, sugar and coffee creamer.
Knox County Warming Centers
Overnight Winter Shelter in Galesburg
- The Knox County Housing Authority and the Salvation Army are operating an overnight winter shelter in Galesburg to help people find a safe place to sleep. The shelter, located at 525/527 Iowa Ct. in Galesburg, opened on Nov. 1 and will be available daily until April 30, 2024. It’s open from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Whiteside County Warming Centers
- Open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., Twin Cities PADS Homeless Shelter is open until April 30, 2024, for those needing a warm place to sleep. In addition to providing emergency shelter, individuals will receive community resources and information on outreach programs for those who are unhoused. The shelter asks that those planning to visit call ahead of time at (815) 626-2210.
- For those looking to support the Twin Cities PADS Homeless Shelter, you can donate online here or donate any items off the shelter’s List” directly to them at 111 E. 29th St. in Sterling. Volunteer opportunities are also available.
Davenport Free and Emergency Clothing
All Sanits Lutheran Church, 5002 Jersey Ridge Rd.
- Open every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Free winter clothing
- Requires current photo ID
- More information is available by calling (563) 359-9516
Friendly Thrift Center, 1411 Brady St.
- Offering new and used clothes at discounted prices
- Offers vouchers for clothing if unable to pay
- More information and hours are available by calling (563) 323-5295
Clothing Center at Minnie’s Maison, 1119 LeClaire St.
- Open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon
- Free clothing and shoes
- Call (563) 362-0915 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bettendorf Free and Emergency Clothing
AGAPE Center Project Pantry, 1101 Devil’s Glen Rd., near the baseball diamond in Devil’s Glen Park
- Household items and clothing available on Thursdays
- Call (563) 210-0465 for current hours and more information
Coats for Kids, 729 21st St.
- Request winter gear for children through online form
Rock Island Free and Emergency Clothing
Broadway Presbyterian Church, 710 23rd St.
- Hosts free clothing giveaways throughout the season, check out Facebook page for information
- Call (309) 644-1176 for information
Closet2Closet, 2613 5th St.
- Current clothing and personal items for foster children and young adults, apply online
- Call (309) 235-8786 or email email@example.com
Heart of Hope, 1740 9th Ave.
- Open Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Food and clothing pantry for those in need, call (309) 428-4752
Moline Free and Emergency Clothing
Bethany for Children & Families, 1202 W. 3rd St.
- Open Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Distributes Goodwill vouchers, call (563) 324-9169