Stay Safe During Extreme Cold Weather


A blizzard warning remains in effect for the Kankakee Valley until 8 a.m. EST/7 a.m. CST. The wind chill warning remains in effect through tomorrow evening, with air temperatures of between 5 and 15 below zero and deadly wind chills of between 30 and 45 below expected. Frostbite and hypothermia will occur in a matter of minutes with these expected wind chills, so be sure to protect exposed skin. Death will also occur if precautions are not taken. Starke County officials have set up a warming center at IU Health Starke Hospital in Knox. You may warm up in the main lobby, surgery waiting area and in the chapel. Food will be available for purchase during normal cafeteria hours, and you will need to bring your own medications and personal care items. Starke County Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Bombagetti urges caution when heating your home. If you use a generator, be sure it is outside your house. Space and kerosene heaters should be kept away from curtains, carpet, furniture and clothing. Bombagetti also recommends charging your cell phone and programming the numbers for your power company into your phone should your power go out. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security also asks residents to please clear a path to their fire hydrants so they are accessible in the event of an emergency.