With record lows across the entire tri-state area, Warrick County officials are encouraging precaution.
According to the National Weather Service, last Tuesday's temperature of two degrees below zero broke a 90-year-old record from 1928 when the low was zero degrees. The NWS issued a wind chill advisory that lasted into Tuesday afternoon as wind chills neared -10 degrees early in the week.
While the service forecasted a slight warm up later in the week with a high of 18 and a low of 4 predicted for Friday, the NWS continued a hazardous weather outlook for the area noting wind chills will continue to fall below zero.
Warrick County Emergency Management Director David Woolen said the county has faired well in steering clear so far of major fires or other circumstances leading to homelessness during the extreme cold. He said the Red Cross and area churches often work to ensure that individuals and families are in out of the cold in these temperatures.
While shelter may not be a concern for most Warrick County individuals, Woolen said it is important to prepare for potential emergency situations by keeping blankets and supplies -- even candles -- in the car to be prepared in the event of the car breaking down and being stranded without heat. He said it is even more important to make sure children are properly dressed for the frigid weather when heading back to school.
"It may not be comfortable to wear heavy stuff, but if your car breaks down and there is no heat, it can get cold quick," he said. "It's better to have too much on than not enough."
In addition to dressing in layers and preparing for potential emergency situations, Woolen said it's important to be careful with alternative heating solutions. He said space heaters can be useful tools, but it's important to keep them away from curtains and other potentially flammable items.
"A main cause of fires during this time is space heaters," he said. "Be very careful with alternative heat."
While individuals work to keep warm and in shelter, Boonville Parks Director Tony Williams and Assistant Director Harold Skelton were at City Lake tending to concerns at the park.
Williams said many believe that their jobs are over in the winter, but, he said, there is still work to be done.
Williams and Skelton worked to put warnings around the lake to stay off the ice and also still worked to ensure that important fixtures weren't frozen on top of cleaning up trash left around the park.
"Even though it looks like nothing's going on, there's still a lot of work to be done out here," he said.
In the case of homelessness or cold weather emergency, call Warrick County Emergency Management at 812-897-6178 or call the Red Cross. For information visit the Warrick County Emergency Management Agency on Facebook.