Loads of layers: outdoor workers bundle up to brave brutal temps


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The brutal cold is having a huge impact on people who have to be outside.

Amanda Thomason who works outside, said it was “frigid and cold” Tuesday morning. She spends most of her day outside as a delivery driver.

“I am wearing gloves, which I need to get a new pair because I deliver water. So, they get wet all the time,” Thomason said. “So that’s a learning experience. I wear insulated socks, I wear leggings under my pants.”

Brian Lawson works outside all the time as a construction worker. He said he doesn’t mind it.

“I wear like a load of laundry every day to work,” Lawson exclaimed.

Actually, he’s not kidding!

“I have five sweatshirts on, long johns, two pairs of socks, thermal socks, insulated boots,” Lawson explained as he showed 24-Hour News 8.

In all seriousness, the cold air isn’t something to take lightly.

“The cold air comes straight from Canada,” 24-Hour News 8  meteorologist Marcus Bailey explained.

Bailey said the reason why it’s so cold outside is because of a significant snow pack on the ground. The snow doesn’t give that arctic air a chance to warm up. He says to keep an ear out for the “feels like” temperatures.

“For people who work outside, if you spend an ‘x’ amount of time outside, depending on the windchill, that can lead to hypothermia, it can lead to frostbite,” Bailey explained. “So we always say no exposed skin, layer up. Lots of layers. Make sure you can get indoors if you’re feeling uncomfortable or you’re feeling tired.”

The Salvation Army in Indianapolis has not opened any official warming centers yet, but they said anyone is welcome into the lobby of their buildings in Indianapolis to take a break, relax, and warm up. The decision to open warming centers is made by the local Department of Homeland Security and IMPD, according to the Salvation Army.

“If the windchill is negative 15 or colder, warming centers will be requested throughout the city, and we’re one of them,” Bethany Petrie, a divisional secretary with the Indiana division of the Salvation Army said. “Actually, we provide several of those centers throughout the city. If the windchill is negative 25 or colder, they would request warming shelters which would be overnight centers for people to stay.”

The City of Muncie is opening many of their city buildings to help keep people away from the frigid temperatures. Muncie City Hall, located at 300 North High Street, and seven fire stations will be opening their doors to the public as warming centers.

For more information on the Muncie warming shelters, call 765.282.3948 or call 765.213.6403.

The complete IMPD Extreme Weather Contingency Plan can be found on its website.The Indiana State Department of Health offers cold weather safety tips, as does the National Weather Service.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security also has weather safety preparedness tips online.

Also, remember to bring your pets inside during the extreme cold weather.

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