Extreme cold can be defined as temperatures that create a dangerous environment for people or animals. Extreme cold does not have a set temperature range, and what constitutes extreme cold can mean different things to people in different areas. It is important to understand that below-normal temperatures coupled with increases in wind speed can cause heat to leave the body more rapidly. These types of weather conditions may cause serious health concerns in people who are susceptible, including those stranded by inclement weather and people living without housing or in housing with inadequate heating or insulation.
- Prepare your home for cold weather. Install storm windows. Insulate outside walls, attics and crawl spaces. Wrap pipes, especially those near cold outer walls or in attics or crawl spaces. Repair leaks in the roof, around the doors and in the windows.
- Have appropriate cold weather clothing available.
- If you have a kerosene heater, refuel any heaters outside and remember to keep it at least three feet from flammable objects.
- Make sure your fireplace functions properly.
- Have rock salt and sand on hand for traction on ice.
- Fill your gas tank before any extreme cold weather arrives.
- Install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector.
- Keep an easy-to-read thermometer inside your home.
- If you cannot bring your pets indoors, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they have access to unfrozen water.
- Prepare your car for winter weather.
- Stay informed. Enroll for emergency notifications through your county's emergency management if available, and National Weather Service for your area.
Staying Safe During Extreme Cold
- Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Wear mittens rather than gloves. Wear a warm woolen hat.
- Do not drive unnecessarily. If you have to drive, let someone know where you are going and keep an emergency survival kit in your car.
- Reduce the temperature in areas of your home you are not using to conserve heat. Close doors and curtains or cover windows and doors with blankets.
- Use alternative heat methods safely. Never use a gas or charcoal grill, hibachi or portable propane heater to cook indoors or heat your home.
- Never use a generator indoors or in a garage or carport.
- Be sure to eat regularly. Food provides calories that maintain body heat.
- If you become stranded outside, attempt to get out of the wind and stay dry.
- Bring animals inside or provide adequate shelter and water.
- Stay informed. Pay attention to emergency notifications through your county's emergency management and National Weather Service for your area.
The locations listed below are the warming centers the District is aware of, however other local organizations or churches in your area may be offering assistance during extreme weather events. If there are other locations available, let us know and we will get them added.
The Health District is not aware of any warming center or temporary housing resources in Ferry County.
Young adults up to age 24 and young adults with children may call Youth Emergency Services at 509-447-1125 during business hours to determine eligibility for assistance during extreme cold weather.
Family Crisis Network is working to accommodate people who are without housing or completely without heat during extreme cold conditions. Contact the Family Crisis Network at 509-447-2274 to determine eligibility.
Colville Warming Center, opens at 5:00pm; 103 E 6th, entrance is Main and 7th, Colville WA 99114
Hope Street Rest Stop, opens 8:00am to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday, 528 S Wynne St, Colville WA 99114
Stevens County Emergency Management
Pend Oreille County Emergency Management
Ferry County Emergency Management
Phone: 509-775-5225, ext. 1112