Since Northeast Ohio has been experience a nice (for some) respite from the polar vortex winters of the past few years, it is quite possible that we’ve all forgotten how to react to cold, normal-Ohio weather.
With frigid temperatures sticking around for the next 10 or so days, it’s time to review!
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- For more freezing pipe tips and tricks, visit our page on redcross.org!
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Talk to your children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- No smoke alarms in your home? Learn more about Operation Save-A-Life, a program that provides free smoke alarm installation and education throughout Northeast Ohio.
- Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
- Test smoke alarms once a month, if they’re not working, change the batteries.
- For more information about fire safety, visit the Home Fire tab on redcross.org/prepare.
- Avoid unnecessary exposure to the cold. Be aware of both the temperature and the wind chill when planning outdoor activities.
- Most of your body heat is lost through your head so wear a hat, preferably one that covers your ears.
- Dressing in layers helps you retain heat. You can remove layers as needed if you become too warm.
- Mittens provide more warmth to your hands than gloves.
- Wear waterproof, insulated boots to help avoid hypothermia or frostbite by keeping your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.
- Get out of wet clothes immediately and warm the core body temperature with a blanket or warm fluids like hot cider or soup. Avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol if you expect you or someone you are trying to help has hypothermia or frostbite.
- Recognize the symptoms of hypothermia that can be a serious medical condition: confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Seek medical attention immediately if you have these symptoms.
- Recognize frostbite warning signs: gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, waxy feeling skin. Seek medical attention immediately if you have these symptoms.
- Download the Red Cross First Aid app for more information about how to respond during a personal safety emergency.