Take steps to avoid frostbite and hypothermia in the winter months
January 30, 2023 — American Red Cross volunteers responded to 27 fires in Chicago, Phoenix, Crestwood, McHenry, Evanston, Harvey, Melrose Park, Burbank, Naperville, Robbins, and Joliet in the past week, including the high-rise building in the Chicago Kenwood neighborhood on January 25th, and provided assistance to dozens of people, through supplying them with basic items to meet immediate needs after a fire, and additional support in the form of health and mental health services and one-on-one support.
If you or someone you know needs assistance after a home fire or local disaster, please call our dispatch line: (877) 597-0747.
Home fires are the most frequent disaster and claim seven lives every day in the U.S. Working smoke alarms can cut the risk of death in a home fire by 50 percent. Visit redcross.org/fire to learn more.
Help keep your family safe by testing your smoke alarms and practicing your two-minute home fire escape drill – the amount of time experts say you may have to get out, before it is too late. Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like and talk about fire safety and what to do in an emergency.
Download the free Red Cross Emergency app for detailed home fire prevention and safety tips. Visit redcross.org/apps or search “American Red Cross” in app stores to download the app, which is compatible with Apple Watch and Android wearable devices.
Cold Weather Safety
Frostbite and hypothermia are cold-related emergencies that may quickly become life or limb threatening.
Take these steps to avoid frostbite and hypothermia:
- Be aware of the wind chill. Dress appropriately and avoid staying in the cold too long. Wear a hat and gloves when appropriate with layers of clothing. Avoid unnecessary exposure of any part of the body to the cold.
- Drink plenty of warm fluids or warm water but avoid caffeine and alcohol. Stay active to maintain body heat.
- Take frequent breaks from the cold.
- Get out of the cold immediately if the signals of hypothermia or frostbite appear.
Click here for tips on how to identify and treat frostbite, and what to do if someone has hypothermia.
About the American Red Cross of Illinois
The American Red Cross of Illinois serves 12.4 million people in 88 counties in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri including Adams, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cook, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, De Witt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Green, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jasper, Jefferson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Pike, Putnam, Richland, Rock Island, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Vermillion, Warren, Washington, Whiteside, Will, Williamson Winnebago, Woodford. Iowa: Lee, Muscatine, Scott and Van Buren. Missouri: Clark, Lewis, Marion and Ralls. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit us at Redcross.org/Illinois or visit us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RedCrossIL.