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Be Prepared and Stay Safe for Winter Weather!

Posted on January 18th, 2018

Winter Weather has been unpredictable in Georgia this season, which is why it’s so important to understand what you and your family can do to stay safe and warm during extreme cold temperatures. Fore more detailed information, visit Ready Gov or CDC Winter Weather websites.

 

Winter storms are just not blizzards that last several days. They can range from freezing rain and ice to moderate snowfall over a few hours.

 

Potential Impact of Winter Weather

  • Roads and Walkways are made dangerous or impassable
  • Power outages could last for days
  • Injuries and deaths could result from dangerous road conditions, cold related illness or carbon monoxide poisoning

 

 

How You & Your Family Can Stay Safe

  • Create a family communications plan, FEMA provides a wallet sized template for Family Emergency Communication plans
  • Build An Emergency Kit, think about your family’s physical and medical needs especially for children, seniors, and even pets
  • Prepare your home
    • Make sure you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep warm air inside
    • Make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working
    • Learn to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts
    • Keep fire extinguishers on hand

 

  • Prepare your vehicle

    • Ensure your gas tank is at least half full
    • Have your mechanic check antifreeze, brakes, heater and defroster, tires and windshield wipers
    • Keep an extra emergency kit in your car

 

 

During the Winter Weather

  • Stay indoors during the storm
  • Drive only if necessary and keep others informed of your whereabouts
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. It can cause a heart attack which is a major cause of death in winter
  • Keep dry and change wet clothing
  • Bundle up with several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Make sure outer garments are tightly woven and water repellant. And wear mittens, hats, and scarves.

 

Watch Out For Cold Related Illness and Seek Medical Care If Needed

  • Frostbite
    • white or grayish-yellow skin area
    • skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
    • numbness
  • Hypothermia
    • If the person’s temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, get medical attention immediately
    • Adults may experience shivering, exhaustion, confusing, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness
    • Infants may have bright red, cold skin, and very low energy

 

Carbon Monoxide-related deaths are highest during colder months

  • Deaths are likely due to increased use of gas powered furnaces and alternative heating, cooking, and power sources which are used inappropriately
  • Each year, about 430 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning
  • More than 20,000 visits to the emergency room for Carbon Monoxide exposure

 

Tips To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning devise inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially exposed area.
  • Place unit 20 feet away from doors, windows, and vents
  • Install Carbon Monoxide detectors inside your home

 

Helpful Links