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Jan 29

NEWS RELEASE: Staying safe in the extreme cold

Posted on January 29, 2019 at 4:25 PM by Vivienne Uccello

(MANHATTAN, KS – January 29, 2019) Frigid wind chill values of 15 below zero to around 25 below zero are expected tonight into Wednesday morning generally along and northeast of a line from Belleville to Manhattan to Emporia. As a result, a Wind Chill Advisory is in effect for those locations starting at 9 PM this evening.

To avoid serious injury during the cold weather, the National Weather Service advises people to:

  • Minimize travel
  • Stay indoors during the worst part of the extreme cold
  • Keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle if you must travel
  • Check tire pressure, antifreeze levels, heater/defroster, etc
  • Learn how to shut off water valves for potential pipe bursts
  • Check on the elderly
  • Bring pets inside
  • Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing, and a hat
  • Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves
  • Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold
  • Try to stay dry and out of the wind

Additional information about preparing for the cold is available online at

Anyone in need of shelter for the night should contact the Manhattan Emergency Shelter, Inc. (MESI), located at 416 S 4th Street. To find out if beds are available, please call MESI at (785) 537-3113. If you would like to make a donation to MESI, the shelter is currently in need of cleaning supplies including paper towels, multi-purpose cleaner, and trash bags, as well as towels for residents. Donations can be dropped off from 8AM to 8PM.

If the Riley County Police Department (RCPD) encounters someone having a medical emergency due to cold exposure or other condition, they will contact Emergency Medical Services (EMS). EMS will determine whether or not the individual needs to be transported to Via Christi hospital. If the individual is not having a medical emergency but does not have shelter from the cold, RCPD will attempt to find the individual shelter with a friend or family member in the area. The next step would be to contact the Manhattan Emergency Shelter, Inc. (MESI). Some individuals do not wish to be taken to the hospital or emergency shelter, and in that instance, RCPD can provide a blanket and discuss options available to help them remain safe in the cold weather.

If you encounters someone having an emergency due to cold exposure or other condition to dial 911 so the proper emergency services can respond.