Chicago Emergency Management & Communications SEVERE WINTER WEATHER FOR THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Weather Advisory in effect Thursday, February 17 from 3 a.m.to 2 p.m., turning into a Winter Storm Warning from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday. This is in addition to a Lakeshore Flood Advisory that will be in effect from 6 a.m. Thursday until midnight. The forecast is calling for a period of freezing rain, sleet, and snow, in addition to strong wind gusts and the possibility of flooding near the lakefront

The City of Chicago urges residents to take the necessary steps to be prepared for possible lakeshore flooding and dangerous conditions near the lakefront due to large battering waves, heavy rain, high winds, and snow accumulation for the Chicago area. A Wind Advisory remains in effect until 6 p.m. this evening.

Travel impacts are likely to affect the Thursday morning and evening commutes. Plan on slippery road conditions becoming treacherous with low visibility due to falling and blowing snow, especially along lake Michigan. OEMC strongly encourages caution while driving as well as the following winter safety tips:• Allow extra time to reach your destination.• Leave plenty of space between vehicles.• Have a full tank of gas and let friends and relatives know where you are going.• Make sure you have an emergency kit in your vehicle.• Yield to emergency vehicles as well as Streets and Sanitation salt spreaders and plows.• With the potential for flooding, do not drive through high water.• The heavy wet nature of the snow could also put strain on tree limbs and power lines which may result in some power outages.• Shoveling snow can be a health risk as well. Remember to stay hydrated, take frequent breaks, and only move small amounts with each shovel pass.

OEMC will monitor weather conditions with the National Weather Service (NWS) and coordinate response efforts with the City’s public safety and infrastructure departments and public partners to keep residents safe and informed. Additionally, OEMC issues several alerts and notifications to keep residents up to date on weather conditions and emergencies:• Notify Chicago: Sign up for emergency alerts at www.NotifyChicago.org• CHILAKE: For lakefront notices, TEXT “CHILAKE” to 7-8-0-1-5• COVID: Get COVID-19 updates by TEXTING “COVID19” to 6-7-2-8-3• CHIBIZ: Business updates, TEXT “CHIBIZ” to 6-7-2-8-3

The City of Chicago would like to remind residents to provide any needed assistance to neighbors, family members, the elderly and those most vulnerable. If you need to request a well-being check you can call 311, go to 311.chicago.gov, or use the CHI311 mobile app.

The Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) manages more than 9,400 lane miles of city roadway and maintains a fleet of over 300 snow vehicles ready to respond to winter weather, when needed. DSS is also prepared with 425,000 tons of salt stationed at 19 salt piles throughout the city, including a new salt dome at Grand Ave. and Rockwell St. Residents can visit www.chicagoshovels.org to view the City’s snow plows in real-time during a winter storm. For purposes of plowing residential streets, DSS divides the city into sections and strategically assigns each snowplow to cover 15-18 miles per section.

The Department of Transportation would like to remind residents of the City’s snow clearing ordinance requires property owners to clear a path at least 5 feet wide on all sidewalks adjacent to their property, including any crosswalk ramps. Snow should not be shoveled into the right-of-way, which includes the following: transit stops and bus pads, parking spaces, bike lanes, bike racks, Divvy stations and any other space where snow impedes traffic of any kind. Individuals found pushing snow into the public right of way may be subject to a citation. If you are responsible for a corner lot, you must remove snow and ice from sidewalks on all sides of your building and from corner sidewalk ramps. This applies to residential property and business owners. Residents are also reminded to help first responders and shovel out areas surrounding fire hydrants on their block.

Chicago Emergency Management & Communications SEVERE WINTER WEATHER FOR THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17

The public can help us help them by reporting uncleared sidewalks through the 311 system, either by phone or using the CHI 311 app. We respond to all complaints and generally respond to a first offense with a warning. But we will enforce the law, especially when it comes to businesses and multi-family buildings that ignore warnings and fail to clear their sidewalks.

The Department of Water Management reminds residents to prevent frozen pipes, make sure that warm air is circulating throughout the home and keep a trickle of water running. If pipes freeze, do not use candles or any open flame to thaw them. Use a hair dryer or heating pad. For more info visit www.chicago.gov/water. To prevent flooding, the Department of Water Management suggests the following tips:• Keep catch basin openings free of debris so that stormwater can get into the sewer system• Do not dump fats/oils/greases in private drains or public catch basins.• Avoid running a dishwasher or washing machine during storms.• Disconnect downspout connections from the sewer system. Make sure to direct flow to areas with permeable surfaces that can properly absorb the stormwater or use rain barrels to collect the rain directly from the downspouts.• Install rain gardens, green landscaping, or stormwater trees in your yard to help retain rainwater.• Resurface driveways, parking pads, or patios with permeable pavement.

Warming CentersThe Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) activates warming areas at the City’s six community service centers when temperatures drop below 32 degrees.• The warming areas are open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.• On evenings, weekends or holidays, city-operated facilities including libraries and park facilities might also serve as warming areas, if needed.• Residents must wear a face covering while in the warming areas.• The Garfield Community Service Center at 10 South Kedzie, is open on a 24-hour basis to connect families and residents to emergency shelter.• DFSS activates warming areas at the City’s 21 senior centers when temperatures are at 32 degrees or below freezing.• Those seeking a warm place to go after hours can also call 3-1-1 to be connected with available services. Individuals requiring emergency overnight shelter should also call 3-1-1, visit 311.Chicago.gov or download the CHI311 app to ensure residents are aware of the City's designated warming areas. Residents are also encouraged to check on relatives, neighbors, and friends during a winter weather emergency.• A list of community service center locations is available along with information and multilingual fliers containing warming center information in English, Spanish and Polish also are posted on DFSS's website at Chicago.gov/FSS.• If you see someone trying to survive on the street or in other public venues, or if you know of a friend or relative who may need assistance, please call 311 with the location of the individual.

The Chicago Fire Department does not recommend using space heaters; however, if used, be sure they are UL certified and at least 3 feet from anything that can ignite. Use of a space heater in children’s rooms should be monitored closely as children sometimes move them close to or into the bed with tragic results. If extension cords are used, they should be rated at 15 amps minimum and never put cords under carpet. With the added demand on furnaces and boilers, CFD also reminds residents are required by ordinance to have working carbon monoxide detectors to protect against carbon monoxide leaks from a heating system that could be fatal over time. Those seeking access to warming centers and/or experiencing insufficient heat are encouraged to contact 3-1-1 for immediate assistance. Also, be sure to keep smoke detectors in working order.

Family and Home SafetyThe Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) would like to caution residents to take care of themselves, and to also aid neighbors, family members, pets, and friends, particularly those who are elderly, have disabilities and/or live alone. Taking preventative action is the best way to stay safe from the serious health risks associated with winter weather. Residents are advised to limit their time outside, wear layers of warm clothing when going outside, and watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.

Cold-Weather Tips• Motorists should take extra precautions to winterize vehicles and have necessary supplies on-the-go, including cell phone chargers.• Keep in mind, disabled vehicles or distracted driving can cause accidents, impact traffic and others requiring emergency services.• Have a back-up plan such as keeping extra sets of vehicle and house keys, or nearby shelter should you become locked out of your vehicle or home to avoid outdoor exposure for any length of time.• Residents should know the signs and care of frostbite and hypothermia. For Winter preparation information visit, Chicago.gov/OEMC for details and links to other local, state and federal resources.• Avoid unnecessary trips outside-if you must go out, limit the time you stay outside.• Wear several layers of loose, warm cloth.• Keep your head, hands and feet covered when outdoors.• Stay dry because moisture can damage the insulating effectiveness of clothing.• Pay extra attention to your daily needs: get enough sleep, eat high energy foods, drink warm beverages to help your body stay warm, and avoid alcoholic beverages.

Travel Updates for O’Hare and MidwayIn partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the airlines, the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) is prepared to maintain operations and keep passengers safe in winter weather conditions. Crews of over 500 staff are ready to support 24/7 operations on over 325 pieces of equipment and 5,000 tons of deicing material to keep O’Hare and Midway International Airports operating safely. The expanded Central Deicing Facility at O’Hare streamlines operations and enhances safety at one of the busiest airports in the world that operates in snow conditions. Those traveling through Chicago’s airports are encouraged to visit www.flychicago.com to find real-time flight information, parking updates, taxicab wait times, available concession businesses and other special alerts for the traveling public. In addition, check airlines’ websites for flight statuses and plan to arrive at least two hours in advance of a scheduled flight.

For additional information on emergency preparedness information, visit the OEMC website at Chicago.gov/OEMC. Follow the Office of Emergency Management and Communications on Facebook(@coemc), Twitter (@ChicagoOEMC) and Instagram (chicago_oemc_911).

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