Winter weather safety tips

  • Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • Updated Wednesday, January 29, 2014 7:27 pm

As our area prepares for freezing temperatures, icy roads and possible widespread power outages, Georgetown County Emergency

Management encourages residents to take precautions now to stay safe and as comfortable as possible over the next two days. Residents are also encouraged to look after one another and check on relatives and neighbors.

The following precautions are recommended:

Make sure any batteries are fully charged, including for home phones and cellular

phones. This is important in case you need to call for help, but also in case the

county needs to utilize its calling notification system to deliver emergency messages

after power outages begin.

Have extra batteries for flashlights and weather radios.

Make sure your family and neighbors know the risks associated with cold weather

and find ways to communicate with them during this weather event.

Keep contact with elderly and at-risk neighbors and relatives (such as families with small children or those who are medical-care dependent or non-English speaking) and make sure they are alright. Make sure they have a safe, warm place to stay while the conditions remain cold and hazardous. Ensure community members have

a fully-stocked emergency supply kit with items like food, water, medications, lashlights and extra batteries.

Bring in all pets and move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with nonfrozen drinking water.

Once freezing rain starts to fall, please stay off the roads. If you must travel, practice extreme caution.

Disconnect hoses and cover all exterior water faucets. Maintain a slight drip of interior water faucets.

If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in

rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).

Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).

Watch for signs of frostbite. These include loss of feeling and white or pale

appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If

symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.

Watch for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory

loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent

exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm, nonalcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible.

Dress warmly and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm

clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.


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