Montgomery County has issued a hypothermia alert for Saturday, January 13.

Temperatures are expected to drop to the low 30s with winds at 25 miles per hour.

Residents are encouraged to look out for children, seniors, especially those living alone, the homeless, and animals, during periods of extreme cold.

Officials said older people are particularly susceptible to hypothermia, even inside their homes and may need assistance.

Montgomery County provides a variety of sheltering opportunities for the homeless.

The county said pet owners who leave animals unattended will be subject to fines and possibly an animal cruelty charge.

County officials said all facilities, including libraries, recreation centers and senior centers are open during their regular hours for use by anyone needing an escape from the cold.

They said public shopping centers are also available as warm locations during their hours of operation.

Here are the warning signs of hypothermia:

  • Shivering, exhaustion
  • Confusion, fumbling hands
  • Memory loss, slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • For infants – bright red, cold skin, very low energy

If you notice any of these signs, take the person’s temperature.

If the temperature is below 95 degrees, seek medical attention immediately.

If the person is unconscious and does not seem to have a pulse or to be breathing, call 9-1-1.

Before medical care arrives, get the victim into a warm room or shelter and remove any wet clothing.

Warm the center of the body first – chest, neck, head and groin – using electric blanket if available, or use skin-to-skin-contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels or sheets

Warm, nonalcoholic, beverages can help increase body temperatures if the victim is conscious.

Residents are encouraged to call the police non-emergency number, 301-279-8000, to report any individual or animal that appears to be in danger.