DANVILLE — Skin can freeze in a matter of minutes when temperatures are below zero.
Dr. Adolpho Napolez with the Presence United Samaritans Medical Center Emergency Department said exposed skin can suffer frostbite “within a matter of just a few minutes.”
If someone has other circulatory conditions already, it can happen more quickly, he said.
So, it's important to stay warm as below-zero temperatures settle in. Plan ahead and make sure you have groceries, gas and survival items in your car if you need to travel.
A warming center is now open at Presence United Samaritans Medical Center. Hot drinks and a warm place to sit will be provided.
The center is open 24 hours; however, the hospital's main entrance is open only until 8:30 p.m. Between 8:30 p.m. and 6 a.m., visitors can use the emergency room entrance. An ambassador will direct them to the warming center.
People also may visit the Salvation Army, 855 E. Fairchild St., which is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. weekdays and during Sunday morning church service.
Help for seniors
Senior citizens who need help have a couple of options.
Presence United Samaritans’ outreach programs for seniors, Faith in Action and Faith in Action South, are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Faith in Action can do home visits, transportation and errands for seniors.
For example, Faith in Action has already received a call from a woman whose furnace went out, and workers were able to direct her to help.
Also, CRIS Healthy-Aging is geared up to help seniors on Monday, said CEO Amy Marchant.
In anticipation of walk-ins or people needing emergency help, CRIS did not fill all of its slots with case workers, she said. People who have made appointments already may keep those, but slots are open for walk-ins.