DES MOINES, Iowa – The bitterly cold temperatures and wind chills central Iowa is experiencing are going to be dangerous for people staying outside too long.
Frostbite and hypothermia become very real threats when temperatures drop this low.
If you are planning on going outside Friday make sure you have multiple layers of light clothing. A base layer worn underneath other clothing should wick moisture away from your skin. Over that an insulating layer will help your body retain its own heat, and a breathable outer layer shell will protect you from the wind and external moisture.
A hat will trap the heat and protect your ears and wool socks worn under waterproof insulated boots will keep your feet dry and warm.
With a temperature of 5 degrees below zero and 5 mph winds you can get frostbite if you are outside for 30 minutes.
If you’re driving Friday, make sure to have that emergency travel kit with you. Even if you aren’t traveling far, it is important to keep it in the trunk in case your battery dies. You’ll want to include a blanket, additional hand warmers, snacks like granola bars, a water bottle, phone charger, and ice scraper in the kit.
There are warming shelters set up in the city of Des Moines where anyone can get out of the cold.
Southridge and Merle Hay malls are serving as warming shelters as are public libraries, Central Iowa Shelter and Services, and the Bethel Mission.
DART buses will even give you a free ride to a warming shelter if you need it.
The hours that these shelters are open vary. You can find more information here.