Gov. Mike Parson urged people of the state Monday to take precautions against the arctic cold in weather forecasts.
"The National Weather Service is predicting dangerously cold wind chill values of -5 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit across the state on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The most life-threatening wind chill values will occur across the northern half of the state on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning," according to a news release from Parson's office.
As of Monday afternoon, Jefferson City area public schools had not made any decisions on whether there would be any changes to school schedules later in the coming days.
Jefferson City Public Schools said no decision about whether there would any changes to schools' schedule for Wednesday had been made, but officials "are definitely keeping an eye on the weather and giving consideration internally to what preparations and decisions may be necessary."
Jim Jones, Blair Oaks R-2 School District superintendent, said Monday afternoon that regular start times were currently scheduled for the rest of the week, but that would be evaluated daily.
"Most of our bus stops are door to door, no designated neighborhood pickup locations with large groups of students — large number of car riders, very few walkers; these factors are helpful when dealing with hot and cold conditions," Jones added.
Warming centers in Missouri can be located at ogi.oa.mo.gov/DHSS/warmingCenter/index.html or dial 2-1-1 for United Way Referral.
The Salvation Army, Jefferson City's primary warming center, provides 40 overnight cots — 20 for men and 20 for women — when temperatures fall below 40. When temperatures drop to freezing, 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or below, the dining hall is opened to hold up to another 50 people.
In addition to the Salvation Army, other Jefferson City area warming centers include Capital Mall, the Clarke Senior Center and Missouri River Regional Library.
The California Nutrition Center, Callaway County Health Department, Callaway County Public Library, Callaway Senior Center, Eldon Senior Center, Maries County Library in Belle, Miller County Library in Eldon, Moniteau County Library, Moniteau Nutrition Center, Morgan County Library, Osage County Health Department and Osage County Library are also listed, among others, on the state's warming center website.
"The state's toll-free, adult abuse and neglect hotline (1-800-392-0210) can be used to report any elderly persons or adults with disabilities who may need assistance due to the cold," the news release from Parson's office added.
The news release also advises Missourians against other cold weather-related dangers:
Travel: Vehicles should be winterized with a good battery, properly working exhaust system, and oil and antifreeze that can withstand the cold. People should keep their gas tanks full and have emergency supplies in their vehicle. Be prepared for an unexpected vehicle breakdown and don't be lulled into a false sense of security by a vehicle's warmth.
Heating: "Turn off portable heaters whenever leaving the room or going to bed and have a 3-foot 'kid-free zone' around space heaters and fireplaces. Keep anything that can burn outside the 3-foot zone, too. Never overload extension cords or outlets. Never use an oven or other cooking devices to heat your home.
"Make sure all heating devices are properly ventilated, and always operate a generator outdoors and at least 20 feet away from any window, door or vent in your home. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause flu-like illness or death. Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen during extremely cold weather when individuals try warming their homes through unconventional methods. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911 immediately and get the victim to fresh air."
Dress for the weather: If outdoors, "dress in several layers of loose-fitting, layered, and lightweight clothing. The space between these layers works as insulation to help keep you warmer.
"Protect your ears, face and head. In addition to a hat, wear a scarf to help protect your lungs from cold air — it will also protect your ears and face.
"Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia."
Animal care: "Limit outdoor time for your pets. They are also susceptible to the extreme cold temperatures." Farmers and ranchers should also care for themselves as well as their animals and neighbors.