Harper Woods officials say watch out for yourself and others during extreme cold

By: Brendan Losinski | Advertiser Times | Published January 8, 2018

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HARPER WOODS — Winter in Michigan is in full swing, and when temperatures drop as low as they did last week, residents are being asked to take the proper precautions to keep themselves, their families and their pets safe.

The Harper Woods Department of Public Safety advises residents to dress warmly in layers, to bring any pets indoors and, if heating is not available, to go to a friend or family member’s home where it is available.

James Burke, the director of the Public Safety Department, said one of the best things people can do is to look after one another.

“We encourage everyone to check on their neighbors and family members,” said Burke. “We work with the Red Cross, but we have no officially registered warming centers in Harper Woods. But anytime people see someone in danger, we want them to call us.”

Harper Woods officials say there are limited resources in the area of Harper Woods to provide cold relief for individuals in need. There are some area groups such as the Heat and Warmth Fund and the Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, which can provide heating assistance.

“Groups like the Heat and Warmth Fund can help people get assistance in paying their bills, but there are no warming centers within Harper Woods itself,” said Assistant City Manager Joe Rheker. “If someone were to have an issue, we’d have to call around and develop something on the fly.”

For those in need of help, many police departments provide help or can point residents toward organizations that can.

“If there is an immediate emergency, please call 911,” said Burke. “We want to help protect people, including from the dangers of extreme cold. Protect yourself and your family, and bring your pets inside. If you know someone who may be in need of assistance, please ask them. Be aware of this dangerous weather.”

To contact the Heat and Warmth Fund, call (313) 226-9465. To contact the Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, call (313) 388-9799.