Winter storm brings dangerously cold temperatures, how to stay warm

A winter storm brought snow, wind and rapidly plummeting temperatures just in time for the Christmas holiday weekend. 

Repairers of the Breach is one of two drop-in warming centers in Milwaukee, and there are other ways you can be connected with the resources you need to stay warm.

The wind stirring up the snow in Milwaukee only adds to the cold, but help to find a warm place to stay is only a phone call away.

"We have warming spaces set up this weekend," said Emily Kenney, IMPACT, Inc. "211 can help direct you with that."

211 is a social services lifeline you can use in southeast Wisconsin. It's always open with people ready to help.

"They can help assess what resource might be best for you and where there are places for you to go (if you're) without heat," said Kenney.

Repairers of the Breach is located at 13th and Vliet in Milwaukee. St. Ben's Parish at 9th and State is another warming shelter.

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On Friday, Dec. 23, outside the city, the Salvation Army's Community Center will be open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

"This is a particularly challenging season for a lot of people, and so we just want to make sure they have help," said Captain Jason Bigelow, Oak Creek Salvation Army Corps. officer. "From 8 to 4, with the heat on, lights on and some welcoming and friendly faces."

The Salvation Army has programs year-round, especially important during the winter.

It's not safe to use an oven or stove to heat your home. If you don't have heat, it's best to use a space heater that has an automatic safety shutoff.

In Milwaukee County, here are the available drop-in warming shelters:

  • Repairers of the Breach, 1335 W. Vliet Street, Milwaukee
  • St. Ben’s Parish, 930 W. State Street, Milwaukee
  • Oak Creek Salvation Army, 8853 S. Howell Avenue (community center will be open Friday, Dec. 23 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Marcia P. Coggs Building, 1220 W. Vliet Street, Milwaukee; open 24 hours through Sunday, Dec. 25

People can call Milwaukee County Energy Assistance at 414-270-4MKE for help getting connected with energy assistance. People can also call 211 after hours to find resources they may need.