February 1, 2023
For Immediate Release
Contact: Health Department, 860-638-4960
Protecting Yourself In Bitter, Cold Weather
Health Department Offers Advice Ahead of Severe Cold Weather
Middletown — The Governor has announced that due to a weather forecast indicating that Connecticut will experience extremely cold air and strong winds later this week, he is directing the state’s severe cold weather protocol to go into effect beginning on Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. and remain in effect until 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 5, 2023.
The City of Middletown’s warming shelter is located at the Wesley Inn and Suites at 988 Washington Street, Room 105, and is open 24/7. Middletown has additional warming centers located at:
- Middletown Police Station lobby (222 Main Street) is open 24 hours, 7 days a week.
- Middletown City Hall lobby (245 deKoven Drive) will be open on Thursday & Friday from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.
- Middletown Senior Center (61 Durant Terrace) will be open on Thursday & Friday from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.
- Russell Library (123 Broad Street) will be open on Thursday from 9 am – 8 pm, Friday & Saturday from 9 am – 5pm, and Sunday from 1 pm – 5 pm.
- St. Vincent DePaul Soup Kitchen (617 Main Street) will be open Thursday from 8:30am – 4:00pm, Friday from 8:30am – 4:00pm and 6:00pm-8:00pm, Saturday from 8:30 am-8:00pm, and Sunday from 4:45 pm – 8:00 pm.
United Way’s 2-1-1 is also available 24 hours, 7 days a week to provide residents with information and resources that are available regarding winter storm and extreme cold weather events.
Frostbite is damage to the skin and underlying tissues caused by prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures. The fingers and toes are the most commonly affected but other extremities including the nose, ears, chin, and cheeks can develop frostbite. Frostbite can range from mild (also called frost nip) to severe or deep. Signs and symptoms of frostbite include cold skin and a pricking feeling numbness, red, white, bluish-white or grayish-yellow skin hard or waxy looking skin. Treatment for mild frostbite includes re-warming of the skin. Other types of frostbite require medical attention because of possible damage to the skin, tissues, muscle, bones, and nerves.
Hypothermia is an abnormally low body temperature caused by prolonged exposures to very cold temperatures. Body temperature that is extremely low can affect the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. People who are most at risk are older adults with inadequate food, clothing, or heating and people who remain outdoors for long periods – the homeless, hikers, hunters, etc. Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, slurred speech, exhaustion or feeling tired, memory loss, confusion, or bright red, cold skin.
If hypothermia is suspected, seek immediate medical attention. While waiting for emergency help to arrive, gently move the person into a warm room or shelter if possible. If clothing is wet, carefully remove and replace with warm, dry coats or blankets. Warm drinks can help increase body temperature, but do not give alcoholic drinks.
To prevent frostbite and hypothermia, limit time outdoors in cold wet or windy weather. Dress in several layers of loose, warm clothing (air trapped between layers of clothing acts as insulation). Wear windproof and waterproof outer garments that keep moisture away from skin. Wear a hat or headband that fully covers the ears. Wear mittens or gloves (mittens tend to be warmer), wool or polypro socks, and warm, waterproof shoes or boots. Eat well-balanced meals and stay hydrated by drinking warm, non-alcoholic, caffeine-free beverages.