Preparing for a Polar Vortex

Published: January 29, 2019

A polar vortex will bring the coldest temperatures the Midwest has seen in more than two decades. Temperatures are forecasted to reach 20 to 30 degrees below zero across the upper Midwest region. This arctic blast will be accompanied by strong winds and life-threatening wind chills that can lead to frostbite on exposed skin in as little as five minutes. Any wet surfaces that are not treated will flash freeze, creating icy roads and hazardous travel conditions. In addition to the dangerously cold conditions, be prepared for the potential of frozen and busting water pipes.

If you live in or manage an Alpha Xi Delta property, here are some simple steps that can be taken to minimize these occurrences. 

  • Turn the heat down to no less than 60 degrees. Don't turn the heat off!
  • Have a house corporation officer or undergraduate member stop by the house daily to make certain that the house is secure and that the heat is working.
  • If a local undergraduate or alumna can't be counted on to check on the house, hire someone to do it for you.
  • Call your heating contractor immediately if there is a problem with the furnace and take immediate action to prevent further damage.
  • Be aware of the exterior of the property and make sure that snow and ice are removed timely to reduce the risk of injuries. 

If you suffer an unfortunate loss, ServiceMaster Disaster Services has a dedicated phone line and is ready to respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 888-927-4877.