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Consulate Reminder: Blast of Extreme Cold Weather, Stay Warm and Travel Safe
2019/01/29

According to the National Weather Service's (NWS) online forecast, a polar vortex will hit the Midwest on Tuesday. Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, and other areas near the Great Lakes will experience extremely cold weather, some areas even seeing a temperature drop to minus 22 °F with windchill temperatures close to minus 58 °F. Before the arrival of the cold wave, a strong blizzard will sweep over the Chicagoland area, bringing at least 1-3 inches of snow. Chicago's lowest temperature is expected to reach minus 43.6 °F in the next few days.

The Chinese Consulate General in Chicago hereby urges the vast overseas Chinese community, Chinese international students, Chinese enterprises, and tourists currently residing in the Midwest to stay warm and minimize travel. Extreme cold weather may cause roads in some areas to freeze, road closures, flight delays or cancellations, and other transportation inconveniences. Please pay special attention to the following when travelling:

1. Pay close attention to weather forecasts and any extreme weather warnings issued by state and municipal governments. Minimize time spent outside, gather any materials needed to fend off the cold, and reduce outdoor skin exposure (10 minutes of exposure will incur frostbite). If travel is unavoidable, please adjust your plan according to weather and traffic conditions. Most importantly, bundle up and stay warm.

2. Extreme cold weather can cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Bring along relevant First Aid supplies when traveling and be prepared to perform any necessary First Aid treatment.

3. Before driving, ensure that your vehicle's battery and anti-skid system are in order and that the vehicle has sufficient anti-freeze agent and engine fuel. Don't speed, maintain sufficient distance with other vehicles, and slow down when passing other cars and when crossing viaducts and intersections. Avoid braking too fast.

4. Chinese tourists who are departing from and arriving at Chicago and surrounding areas on Tuesday (January 29) and Wednesday (January 30) should contact their airlines in advance to confirm flight information. If transferring flights, please make sure you reserve a long enough layover time to avoid missing your next flight.

5. In case of emergency, please remain calm and promptly call 911. In case of water cutoff, power outage, heating and/or transportation issues, you may call 311 for non-emergency City Services.

6. If Consular protection and assistance is needed, you may contact the Consulate General for round the clock service at 312-7800-170. The Global Emergency Call Center for Consular Protection and Services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be reached at +86-10-12308 or +86-10-59913991.

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