THIS IS NOT A DRILL: Northeast Ohio Weather Turns Frightful

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!

Freezing Pipes

  • 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!

Fire Safety

  • 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.
  • 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.

Personal Safety

  • 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.

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