Winter weather in Kane County can bring extreme cold temperatures, snow, ice, and other hazards.
The City of St. Charles provides safety, preparedness and seasonal services information to help you weather the winter.
Winter storms can be dangerous because they could leave people stranded in their homes or cars and sometimes without power. If there is a winter storm warning, you believe a storm is headed your way, or you are already stranded by one:
If already inside, get your Emergency Kit and listen for official updates.
Do not travel unless you really have to, and if you do, try to take public transportation.
Stay indoors and dress warmly – if you must go outside, wear enough clothing to keep you warm and dry (e.g., hat, boots, mittens or gloves, extra layers).
Eat and drink liquids on a regular basis.
Conserve heat and fuel – keep the thermostat at 65 degrees or less during the day and 55 degrees at night, close off unused rooms, stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors, and cover windows at night.
If you get stranded in your car or other vehicle, stay with your vehicle, and hang a brightly colored cloth on the radio antenna. Turn on the engine for about 10 minutes each hour (or 5 minutes every half hour) to keep warm, but make sure the tailpipe is clear of snow and that you leave a window open a bit to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Winter Safety and Preparedness
Know Where Your Local Warming Centers are Located
Visit these facilities during normal operating hours if you need to get out of the cold and warm up:
- St. Charles Public Library, 1 South 6th Avenue
- Municipal Building, 2 E. Main St.
- St. Charles Park District Pottawatomie Community Center, 8 North Avenue
- Lazarus House, 214 Walnut St., offers shelter overnight, based on availability
If You Must Venture Out
- Check local weather forecasts before you go.
- Dress in layers and limit exposed skin. Watch for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.
- Make sure vehicles a have a full gas tank to help keep fuel lines from freezing.
- Keep an emergency kit in your car. Stock it with blankets, ice scraper, flares or reflective triangle, jumper cables, cell phone charger and cat litter or sand for traction.If you get stranded in your car and hang a brightly colored cloth on a side mirror. Turn on the engine for about 10 minutes each hour (or 5 minutes every half hour) to keep warm, but make sure the tailpipe is clear of snow and that you leave a window open a bit to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Winter Weather Safety at Home
- Open cabinet doors under the kitchen sink to allow the heat to enter to keep pipes from freezing.
- Be extremely careful using space heaters and allow for proper distances between the unit and anything combustible. This includes furniture and bedding materials.
- Never use the oven or other make-shift devices to heat your home.
- Test your Carbon Monoxide detectors to be sure they are working.
Be very aware of the dangers of walking on ice-covered bodies of water. When evaluating ice, danger-warning signs include:
- Flowing water near or at the edges of the ice
- Water flows in an/or out of the iced-over water body
- Cracks, breaks or holes
- Ice that appears to have thawed and refrozen
- Abnormal surfaces that you have not seen before –e.g., pressure ridges from currents/winds
- If your pet falls through the ice, DO NOT attempt to rescue the animal yourself. Call 911 and the Fire Department will evaluate and aid in the effort to rescue pets in the water. Firefighters have the appropriate protective equipment for cold water rescues and are ready to assist.
For more safety tips, consult the Illinois Emergency Management Association Winter Storm Preparedness Guidebook and Storm Safety Guide.
Seasonal City Services for Winter
- Snow Removal Information, including Snow Plow routes and snow storm parking information.
- Winter Water & Sewer Tips including information on avoiding frozen pipes and protecting unattended buildings from frozen pipes
- Electric Safety Tips for winter including information about space heater safety, energy efficiency and heating systems