CHICAGO (CBS) — With an extended extreme cold snap bringing dangerously low wind chills to Illinois, Gov. JB Prizker has issued a disaster proclamation, to help provide state resources to respond to the frigid weather.
“This storm poses a serious threat to the well-being of people around the state, and we will use every tool at our disposal to keep our residents safe,” Pritzker stated in his official announcement. “This disaster proclamation ensures that the state of Illinois has the flexibility to effectively and efficiently respond to the needs of local governments during this extreme weather event.”
The disaster declaration makes several state resources available to local governments to help them respond to the extreme cold.
Forecasts call for a high temperature of around 14 below zero on Wednesday, with temperatures falling to more than 20 below zero Tuesday and Wednesday night. Wind chills could be as low as 55 or 60 below zero both nights.
Temperatures over the next few days could break a number of records for cold. Wednesday’s temperature is expected to be the coldest high temperature ever recorded on Jan. 30 in Chicago.
There’s also a chance Chicago could match its record for coldest temperature on record, when it was 27 below zero on Jan. 20, 1985.
In such frigid conditions, frostbite can set in for exposed skin in 10 to 15 minutes.
The extreme cold also significantly increases the risk of frozen water pipes, stalled cars, and malfunctioning furnaces.
The state maintains a list of warming centers across Illinois, listed by county at ready.illinois.gov. If you don’t see a warming center near you, you should call your county’s emergency management agency for help.