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County: Prepare for freezing temps

County: Prepare for freezing temps

Tulare County is currently experiencing colder temperatures and is working with both State and local agencies on advising how residents can prepare themselves, their family members, and their animals for the possible effects of the inclement weather by providing information for shelter and care.

Tulare County Office of Emergency Services is closely monitoring reports issued by The National Weather Service, and is advising residents to take precautionary measures against the cold. To protect yourself in extremely cold weather wear several layers of clothing, travel with caution and be alert for the symptoms of exposure. Monitor family members and those around you who are at greatest risk from exposure, such as seniors, young children and people with underlying illnesses or chronic conditions.

• Maintain a heated environment inside your home of at least 68 degrees during the day and evening; 63 degrees at night.

• Be aware that space heaters can be a fire risk. Choose heaters with an automatic shut-off switch and non-glowing elements. Follow directions for safe use.

• Do NOT use an oven or outdoor heating device to heat your home, as these devices produce deadly carbon monoxide.

• When exposed to cold weather outside, wear layers of warm, dry clothing, including a head covering and gloves. Remove any wet clothing promptly.

• Drink warm fluids such as cider, hot chocolate or soup. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, which cause your body to lose heat more rapidly.

• Maintain good nutrition and get plenty of rest.

• Check with your doctor when using prescription drugs. Some medications may lower tolerance to levels of cold.

• Keep animals safe by moving them indoors or provide adequate shelter to keep them warm. Make sure they have access to unfrozen water.

• Travel with caution and check road conditions before departing.

• Check on family members or neighbors who are elderly or have special needs. If you live alone, keep in contact with friends and family.

• If you are 65 or older, are disabled, or have a chronic illness, talk to you doctor about getting a flu shot every year.

• If you do not have heat, go to a friend or family member’s home, warming center or local shelter.

Common symptoms of cold related health problems include still muscles, puffy face, mental confusion, slowed breathing, poor physical condition, numbness, dizziness, shivering, waxy or discolored skin. If you need emergency medical attention, call your physician or 9-1-1 immediately.

For more information on cold weather preparedness, including where to locate warming centers, log onto www.tularehhsa.org and click on the Office of Emergency Services link, or call 2-1-1.

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