Providence Mayor Brett Smiley and Providence Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Clara Decerbo are warning residents to take precautions as dangerously cold temperatures are forecasted for Thursday evening through Saturday evening.
A Wind Chill Watch is expected to go into effect Thursday night. Temperatures will begin to drop Friday morning and the wind chill will remain below freezing throughout Saturday night. In addition to the extreme cold, potential snow and strong winds are expected Thursday evening into Friday morning which may result in 1 inch of snow accumulation on surfaces during the Friday morning commute.
In anticipation of colder weather, PEMA has identified the following locations that will offer additional shelter capacity for people experiencing homelessness. These locations will be open 24/7 and accepting people beginning Friday morning through Sunday morning:
- Crossroads RI: 160 Broad Street, 401-521-2255
- Providence Rescue Mission: 627 Cranston Street, 401-274-8861
- Emmanuel House: 239 Public Street, 401-421-7888
- Cranston Street Armory, facilitated by Amos House: 310 Cranston Street, 401-272-0220
Additionally, all 9 Providence Community Libraries will be open as warming centers on Friday 1:00PM-5:30PM. On Saturday from 9:30AM-5:30PM, Rochambeau, Knight Memorial, and Mount Pleasant Providence Community Library branches will be open as warming centers as well.
In these predicted temperatures, frostbite can occur on exposed skin in as little as ten minutes and the extreme cold temperatures can cause hypothermia. PEMA is urging residents to remember to check on family, the elderly, or others who may need assistance to make sure they are safe.
PEMA has provided the following cold weather tips:
- Be aware of the fire danger from space heaters and candles; keep such devices away from all flammable materials
- Install recommended smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (at least one of each per floor in your home)
- Stay indoors and use safe heating sources
- Indoors, do not use charcoal or other fuel-burning devices, such as grills, that produce carbon monoxide
- Outdoors, stay dry and in wind protected areas
- Wear a hat or hood to prevent heat from escaping the body and several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing, covering all exposed skin
- Bring household pets inside, if possible
- Wear mittens, a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs
- Watch for signs of frostbite – Skin appears white and waxy, numbness or no feeling in that area and/or possible blisters
- Watch for signs of hypothermia – Shivering and numbness, confusion or dizziness, stumbling and weakness, slow or slurred speech and shock
If you or someone you know is in need of overnight shelter from the cold, call the United Way at 2-1-1 and they will direct you to a nearby facility.
Providence residents are strongly encouraged to review PEMA’s cold weather safety information, which includes safety tips and a list of available warming centers in Providence.
To report a non-emergency issue, connect to the Mayor’s Center for City Services by dialing 3-1-1, visiting www.PVD311.com or by downloading the PVD311 mobile app for 24/7 access. To receive up-to-the-minute alerts and updates, residents are encouraged to register for the CodeRED emergency notification system.