Snow, near record cold expected Sunday night through Tuesday

Wintery weather is expected to make an early appearance as rain turns to snow Sunday night, followed by a snowy and cold Veterans Day.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for rain to begin about 9 p.m. Sunday and turn to snow about 3 a.m. Monday. Forecasters predict 2 to 4 inches of snow on Monday, with temperatures falling during the day. 

The overnight low Monday could get down to 12 degrees, with wind gusts up to 25 miles per hour producing a wind chill of -1.

Tuesday will be sunny, but the high temperature is expected to reach only 23 degrees.

In preparation for the winter weather, the Cook County Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security (EMRS) posted a reminder to residents to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves and their families.

Safety tips during cold weather:
  • Never use your oven for heat.
  • Never bring charcoal or gas grills indoors, because they produce carbon monoxide, which can be fatal.
  • Make sure all portable heaters are unplugged when not in use.
  • Use electric space heaters with extreme caution. Avoid placing them near curtains or other flammable materials, and turn them off before going to bed.
  • Keep heat at adequate levels or leave faucets open with a slight drip to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep moving. Your body generates its own heat when you engage in physical activities.
  • EMRS also included a list of warming centers. Residents who do not have adequate heating in their homes are encouraged to visit a warming center to ensure they remain safe.

In the South Suburbs, warming centers include:
  • Bloom Township office, 425 S. Halsted St., Chicago Heights, open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. 
  • Bremen Township office, 16361 S. Kedzie Parkway, Markham, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Orland Township office, 14807 Ravinia Ave., Orland Park, open 8 a.m.to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 8 a.m.to 6:00 p.m. Tuesday. Transportation available for seniors 55 and older. Call 708-403-4222.
  • Rich Township office, 22013 Governors Highway, Richton Park, open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. 
     
A full list of warming centers in the county can also be found on the EMRS website.

County officials also urged residents to take precautions to keep pets safe during winter weather events.
  • Bring all pets indoors: All dogs and cats, whether they are acclimated to outdoor living or not, must be brought indoors during sub-zero weather. 
  • Salt and ice: Both salt and ice can irritate your dog’s footpads. If your dog will tolerate them, foot coverings are advised. If your dog will not tolerate foot coverings, avoid the salt when possible and wash the dog’s paws with warm water when you return home.  
  • Frostbite: Dogs and cats may have fur coats but they also have exposed areas that are susceptible to frostbite. Limit their time outdoors for waste elimination only. Walks should not exceed 10 minutes in sub-zero temperatures. Check their pads when you get home and wash with warm (not hot) moist towels. If you suspect frostbite on any extremity, including the nose or the tips of the ears, contact your veterinarian.
  • Keep them leashed: More pets become lost in the winter than any other season because snowfall can disguise recognizable scents that would normally help them find their way home. Prevent your pets from becoming lost by keeping dogs leashed on walks and, just in case you are separated from your pets, make sure their collars have up-to-date contact information and they are microchipped.
  • Be seen: Keep yourself and your dog are safe by wearing reflective gear (clothing, leash, collar, etc.) and keeping your dog close when walking on the street.
  • Secure poisons: Properly secure potentially poisonous material, such as antifreeze. Antifreeze is extremely toxic to all living creatures. Keep antifreeze bottles out of the reach of animals and clean up all antifreeze spills immediately.
  • Be prepared: Winter brings extreme weather that can cause power outages. Have an emergency plan and make sure it includes your pets. Have an emergency kit with enough food, water and medication to last your pets at least five days. You may never need it, but if you do, you will be thankful you planned.
While laws in some municipalities may require only that pet owners provide food, water and a shelter, an outside dog house may not be suitable during severe cold weather. All residents are urged to be alert to pets being left outside for extended periods and to call authorities if they see an animal that could be in danger.

Recommendations regarding wild and feral animals:
  • Honk before starting your car: Feral cats and wild animals will seek refuge and warmth wherever they can. A car’s engine, for example, may provide a warm spot to “hole up” in sub-zero conditions. Drivers should honk their vehicle’s horn before starting the ignition to give a wakeup call to any critter that may be hiding.
  • Removing animals from homes: Call officials if a wild animal enters your home: If an animal has chosen your attic, your garage or even space under a deck as refuge, close off access to the rest of the house and contact local officials for their removal. In Flossmoor, call the police department non-emergency number, 708-957-4500. In Homewood, call the police department non-emergency number, 708-206-3420.

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A great community deserves a great newspaper. The HF Chronicle was created in June 2014 as an online publication. In December 2015 we began monthly print publication, too. Our mission is to chronicle the life of our community — news by, for, and about the people of Homewood and Flossmoor, Illinois.

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