Essential, nonessential employees brave the cold weather for work

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(WNDU) - Many of you got to stay home this week because of the extreme cold. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean everybody was that lucky.

There are a lot of essential jobs out there that still need done, like emergency personnel, grocers and health care services. Even nonessential jobs that never closed down had people braving the weather.

Because of the cold and the ice and everything that came with it, many people have been experiencing outages throughout the area. That includes Holy Cross College, which had to have an evacuation for a couple hours just to keep students safe in the cold.

Because of situations like that, there needs to be someone stepping up to help people in need. Thankfully, people like electric linemen are still hard at work.

"The weather can impact our equipment and that's why we have our crews on standby," Indiana Michigan Power spokesperson Schnee Garrett said. "They're ready to go all over there. All their gear is packed so the moment that power does go out to our customers, we are ready and able to respond to safely and quickly restore power as we can in the cold temperatures."

And it isn't just human safety that matters. Animal shelters around the area are staffed to make sure animals can have a place to go if they're being left out in the cold or don't have a place to call home.

"Our shelter is very, very full," South Bend Animal Care and Control Director Jenn Gobel said. "We're setting up temporary housing in other parts of the shelter to make room for the potential seizures that may come today. Hopefully, people have gotten the message yesterday that we will come and take your animals if they are left outdoors and bring them inside."

Now, when safety isn't involved, there are still scheduled events that can't be changed. That's what left a couple movers from Chicago going in and out of the cold all day in South Bend.

"This is one of the coldest days we've been out this week," said Mike, one of the movers. "I mean, obviously we're out here, we don't have a choice. We've got to deal with the elements. Some things just don't stop."

Now when I said work, all of those jobs are probably what you thought of people doing, but some couldn't even let personal work wait, like Mary from South Bend, who had to shovel out her car.

"They kind of buried me in," she said. "I got out yesterday, but it took a while after I got done shoveling. But I'm all good now. "

The cold is nothing to mess around with. If you see anyone doing work outside, check in and make sure they're OK. More time outside equals more risk.