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Governor issues ‘state disaster declaration’ for life-threatening windchill

The Chicago Skyline in 2014 as steam rises from Lake Michigan due to a “polar vortex” event.

The Arctic air drops windchill to minus 55 degrees

On Tuesday, Governor JB Pritzker issued a statewide disaster proclamation, which is equivalent to a state of emergency, for the extreme and dangerous cold weather expected this week. This measure ensures that local governments will have necessary resources through windchills that will reach minus 55 degrees.

“This storm poses a serious threat to the well-being of people around the state, and we will use every tool at our disposal to keep our residents safe,” said Governor JB Pritzker in a statement. “This disaster proclamation ensures that the state of Illinois has the flexibility to effectively and efficiently respond to the needs of local governments during this extreme weather event.”

A state disaster declaration allows more agencies and resources to help communities that could need recovery from the extreme cold. The state has set up warming centers which can be found through Ready Illinois or by calling your county emergency management agency.

In Chicago, park fieldhouses and libraries will remain open on Wednesday giving families a safe place to go. City warming centers will have extended hours and police stations, hospitals, and buses will be available to homeless people in need of help. Stay up to date on what the city is doing to keep residents safe and warm.

On Monday, the governor put an emergency preparedness plan in place to warn residents of the extreme weather and hazardous travel conditions.

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