MARION COUNTY, Ind. — The director of Emergency Management for Marion County is offering tips to stay safe in these dangerously cold temperatures Wednesday morning. 

Marion County Emergency Management Director Jacob Spence says do what you can to stay warm, like bundling up and wearing layers. 

Spence says that being out in the cold and not dressed properly for more than about 30 minutes can have some serious consequences like frostbite or even hypothermia, if you are out there too long. 

He says to pay attention to things like numb skin or stinging sensations. 

Even if you don’t have to go out in the weather, he says also it’s important to keep your home warm but to be responsible and not create a fire hazard. 

“We don’t want people to use gas grills inside. We do not want people to use charcoal inside, an open flame that is not within a fireplace or woodburning stove,” said Spence. 

“Use means that are appropriate for using inside and keeping yourself warm.” 

He says if you lose power or your furnace goes out, contact your service provider immediately to let them know so they can work on resolving the issue. 

If you need help heating your house there are resources like United Way utlity assistance and a federal low-income home energy assistance program. 

“During the winter months, unfortunately, energy costs rise, and I know it sometimes can be hard for people to heat their home, but we need to make sure that they understand the resources out there to help them. And that they ask for help, cause there’s no problem in asking for help.” 

He also says it’s important to make sure your car is prepared. Bring extra blankets and have a full tank of gas in case you get stuck. 

“Just being prepared. Understanding that again, while we are not expecting any snow or ice with this, things do happen on your commute. And be prepared in case you have to sit in your vehicle for a long period of time, especially if your vehicle dies and it can’t run, it will get cold very quickly in these temperatures.” 

Don’t forget about your pets. If you’re cold, chances are they too, so remember to bring them in or make sure they have a warm shelter and water.