With high temperatures in the single digits and a wind chill below zero for much of Tuesday, the Harford County Department of Emergency Services, in cooperation with Harford County Public Library, will use libraries as warming centers until the cold snap is over.
Libraries are not shelters and are only available for the public's use during normal business hours, the Harford County Department of Emergency Services explained.
The Bel Air branch of Harford County Public Library is open Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; all other branches of the library are open to the public from 1 to 8 p.m.
The branch locations of Harford County Public Library are Aberdeen, 21 Franklin St.; Abingdon, 2510 Tollgate Road; Bel Air, 100 E. Pennsylvania Ave.; Darlington, 1134 Main St.; Edgewood, 629 Edgewood Road; Fallston, 1461 Fallston Road; Havre de Grace, 120 N. Union Ave.; Jarrettsville, 3722 Norrisville Road; Joppa, 655 Towne Center Drive; Norrisville, 5310 Norrisville Road; and Whiteford, 2407 Whiteford Road.
"Harford County is experiencing some of the lowest temperatures in nearly two decades and we are concerned for the safety and well-being of our seniors, young children, persons with special needs and our homeless population," Harford County Emergency Manager Rick Ayers said. "The Department of Emergency Services is grateful to Director Mary Hastler and Harford County Public Library for offering the use of these facilities as temporary warming centers during this extreme weather event."
As a result of the extreme weather conditions, the risk of hypothermia is a serious concern to emergency management and public safety officials. Signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.
If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, victims should be moved immediately to a warm location and given warm, non-alcoholic beverages if they are conscious. Additionally suspected victims suffering from hypothermia should get medical attention as soon as possible.
For additional information regarding storm preparedness, visit the Harford County Department of Emergency Services website, http://www.harfordpublicsafety.org, or call 410-638-4900.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun