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Public Notices

April 16, 2014

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Tips For The Cold Temps

Originally published: 2014-01-06 12:11:32
Last modified: 2014-01-07 07:50:13
 



The following cold-weather safety tips are provided by Greeneville Fire Department Administrative Capt. Marty Shelton:
• Closely monitor local news reports for updates on weather forecasts and storm impacts.
• Have a well-stocked winter home emergency supply kit that includes flashlights, a portable radio, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food and a manual can opener.
• The elderly and very young should minimize outside activities. Remember to consider your pets.
• Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, rather than a single layer of heavy clothing. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.  Wear a hat, mittens and sturdy waterproof boots, protecting your extremities. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
• Excessive exposure can lead to frostbite, which is damaging to body tissue that is frozen.  Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and a pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, seek medical help immediately.
• Hypothermia can occur in extreme cases. The warning signs are uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.  If the person’s temperature drops below 95 degrees, seek immediate medical care.
• Ensure there is a sufficient supply of heating fuel, in addition to emergency heating equipment, in the event of an electricity outage.
• When utilizing alternate heating sources like a fireplace, wood stove or space heater, take the necessary safety precautions. Keep a fire extinguisher handy and make everyone knows how to use it properly. Test smoke alarms and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors.
• If using an emergency generator, read, understand and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Always operate emergency generators outdoors and away from any open window.  Make sure the generator is properly installed and grounded, as the owner may be liable for damage or injury to other people and property that may result from improperly installed or operated equipment.
• Never use propane or charcoal grills indoors, as they pose Carbon Monoxide (CO) and fire risks.
• Clear exhaust vents from direct vent gas furnace systems to avoid Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. Also, never start an automobile until the exhaust pipe has been cleared of snow.
• If you lose your heat, seal off unused rooms by stuffing towels in the cracks under the doors. At night, cover windows with extra blankets or sheets.
• Be a good neighbor. Check with elderly or relatives and friends who may need additional assistance to ensure their safety.
• To keep pipes from freezing, wrap them in insulation or layers of newspapers, covering the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture. Allow a trickle of warm water to run from a faucet that is farthest from your water meter or one that has frozen in the past.  This will keep the water moving so that it cannot freeze.  Learn how to shut off your water if a pipe bursts.
• If pipes freeze, remove insulation, completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes or wrap them with towels soaked in hot water, starting where they are most exposed to the cold.  A hand-held hair dryer, used with caution, also works well.
• If there is medical equipment in the house that requires electricity, talk to your health care provider about how to prepare for equipment use during a power outage. Keep a supply of extra batteries for medical equipment and assistive devices.
• If you have life-support devices that depend on electricity, contact your local electric company about your power needs for life-support devices (home dialysis, suction, breathing machines, etc.) in advance of an emergency. Some utility companies will place those with life-support devices on a “priority reconnection service” list. Talk to your equipment suppliers about your power options and also let your local fire department know that you are dependent on life-support devices.
• Make sure cars are properly winterized.  Keep the gas tank at least half-full.  Carry a winter emergency car kit in the trunk including blankets, extra clothing, flashlight with spare batteries, a can and waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water, non-perishable foods, a windshield scraper, shovel, sand, tow rope and jumper cables.

 
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