Thursday Severe Weather Threat

An unusual mix of weather is in store for today starting with dense fog, followed by periods of heavy rain along with some moderate chance for damaging winds following by crashing temperatures and chilling winds (20mph with gusts to low 30’s) through tomorrow. SPC has placed Madison County is in a slight region for severe storms with the greatest threat being damaging winds. A tornado can not be completely ruled out but is less probable. The window for greatest threat of severe weather looks to be 11AM – 4PM. Rain fall additions for the county look to be on the order of 1” but models vary some. The risk of flooding continues along with frozen patches of ice Friday morning. Low temps Fri. morning of mid teens rising to 20 or so for a high. The Madison County EMA Warning Division will be monitoring the weather assessment and will provide updates as necessary.

Signs of Hypothermia

According to the Mayo Clinic, hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature. Normal body temperature is around 98.6 F (37 C). Hypothermia (hi-poe-THUR-me-uh) occurs as your body temperature falls below 95 F (35 C).

When your body temperature drops, your heart, nervous system and other organs can’t work normally. Left untreated, hypothermia can eventually lead to complete failure of your heart and respiratory system and eventually to death.

Hypothermia is often caused by exposure to cold weather or immersion in cold water. Primary treatments for hypothermia are methods to warm the body back to a normal temperature.

Shivering is likely the first thing you’ll notice as the temperature starts to drop because it’s your body’s automatic defense against cold temperature — an attempt to warm itself.

Signs and symptoms of hypothermia include:

– Shivering
– Slurred speech or mumbling
– Slow, shallow breathing
– Weak pulse
– Clumsiness or lack of coordination
– Drowsiness or very low energy
– Confusion or memory loss
– Loss of consciousness
– Bright red, cold skin (in infants)

Someone with hypothermia usually isn’t aware of his or her condition because the symptoms often begin gradually. Also, the confused thinking associated with hypothermia prevents self-awareness. The confused thinking can also lead to risk-taking behavior

Call 911 or your local emergency number if you suspect someone has hypothermia.

While you wait for emergency help to arrive, gently move the person inside if possible. Jarring movements can trigger dangerous irregular heartbeats. Carefully remove his or her wet clothing, replacing it with warm, dry coats or blankets.

Wind Chill Advisory Issued

* WHAT…Very cold wind chills expected. Wind chills as low as 20 below zero expected.

* WHERE…Portions of central, east central, north central and west central Indiana.

* WHEN…From 6 PM this evening to noon EST Monday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…The cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.


A Wind Chill Advisory means that cold air and the wind will combine to create low wind chills. Frostbite and hypothermia can occur if precautions are not taken. Make sure you wear a hat and gloves.

Winter Health Safety Tips

Here are some important Winter Weather Health Safety Tips everyone should follow.

Shoveling Snow
Shoveling snow can be a strenuous activity, particularly because cold weather can be tasking on the body. There is a potential for exhaustion, dehydration, back injuries, or heart attacks. During snow removal in addition to following the tips for avoiding cold stress, such as taking frequent breaks in warm areas, there are other precautions workers can take to avoid injuries. Workers should warm-up before the activity, scoop small amounts of snow at a time and where possible, push the snow instead of lifting it. The use of proper lifting technique is necessary to avoid back and other injuries when shoveling snow: keep the back straight, lift with the legs and do not turn or twist the body.

Using Powered Equipment like Snow Blowers
It is important to make sure that powered equipment, such as snow blowers are properly grounded to protect workers from electric shocks or electrocutions. When performing maintenance or cleaning, make sure the equipment is properly guarded and is disconnected from power sources.

Snow blowers commonly cause lacerations or amputations when operators attempt to clear jams with the equipment turned on. Never attempt to clear a jam by hand. First, turn the snow blower off and wait for all moving parts to stop, and then use a long stick to clear wet snow or debris from the machine. Keep your hands and feet away from moving parts. Refuel a snow blower prior to starting the machine; do not add fuel when the equipment is running or when the engine is hot.

Preventing Slips on Snow and Ice
To prevent slips, trips, and falls, employers should clear walking surfaces of snow and ice, and spread deicer, as quickly as possible after a winter storm. In addition, the following precautions will help reduce the likelihood of injuries:

Wear proper footwear when walking on snow or ice is unavoidable, because it is especially treacherous. A pair of insulated and water resistant boots with good rubber treads is a must for walking during or after a winter storm. Keeping a pair of rubber over-shoes with good treads which fit over your street shoes is a good idea during the winter months.
Take short steps and walk at a slower pace so you can react quickly to a change in traction, when walking on an icy or snow-covered walkway.

Stranded in a Vehicle
If you are stranded in a vehicle, stay in the vehicle. Call for emergency assistance if needed, response time may be slow in severe winter weather conditions. Notify your supervisor of your situation. Do not leave the vehicle to search for assistance unless help is visible within 100 yards. You may become disoriented and get lost in blowing and drifting snow. Display a trouble sign by hanging a brightly colored cloth on the vehicle’s radio antenna and raising the hood. Turn on the vehicle’s engine for about 10 minutes each hour and run the heat to keep warm. Also, turn on the vehicle’s dome light when the vehicle is running as an additional signal. Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and open a downwind window slightly for ventilation.

Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Do minor exercises to maintain good blood circulation in your body. Clap hands and move arms and legs occasionally. Try not to stay in one position for too long. Stay awake, you will be less vulnerable to cold-related health problems. Use blankets, newspapers, maps, and even the removable car mats for added insulation. Avoid overexertion since cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Unaccustomed exercise such as shoveling snow or pushing a vehicle can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse.

New Years Eve Preparedness

As you begin making plans for NYE celebrations at home, Indianapolis, out of state, or else where; we remind you of these simple safety items to keep everyone safe during the celebration.

1. Know where your nearest exits are at all times.
2. Have a predesignated meeting spot, in case you get separated from your group.
3. Have cell phone numbers, for everyone in your group. It may be best to text if cellular lines become overloaded.
4. Stay Alert, Stay Sober and be ready to react in the event something bad occurs.

There are no specific threats known to federal, state or local law enforcement agencies, but we always remind our followers to #BePrepared. Large gatherings are always a threat in today’s world. Law Enforcement officers around the world will be working overtime to protect party goers, however each person has a responsibility for self protection by being prepared. Another important aspect of keeping the public safe is the #IfYouSeeSomethingSaySomething campaign. If you see something that appears to be suspicious or does not seem to be right, notify law enforcement so they can investigate. It is always better to error on the side of caution than not report something and it result in tragedy.

As we go into 2019, remember safety is your number 1 goal for yourself and your family. It’s always better to #BePrepared in advance.

From all of us at Madison County Emergency Management & Office of Homeland Security, Happy New Years.

Gas Stoves Should Never be used as a Heater

The Dangers of Heating Your Home With An Oven

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning. If you have a gas oven, you’re putting yourself at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning if you try to use the oven for heat. Carbon monoxide is invisible, odorless, and tasteless, so you won’t be able to tell if it’s seeping into your home. Moderate levels of the gas can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fainting (it is sometimes mistaken for the flu). High levels can be fatal. When you use your appliances correctly, you don’t need to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning, but using a gas oven as a heater is not the proper way to employ the appliance.

Unattended High Heat. Leaving an oven, which can create an abundance of heat, alone while active is very dangerous. If you have children or pets, they could be seriously burned through accidental contact with the oven. There is also a chance that something might fall into the oven or onto the stove (like a napkin or cloth) and create a fire.