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HSEM Urges Precautions During Severe Cold

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Contact: Jim Van Dongen
603-223-3641

HSEM Urges Precautions During Severe Cold

Concord, NH - The NH Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is encouraging everyone in the state to take precautions to protect themselves during the extreme cold that is predicted for the rest of this week.

"Exposure to extreme cold can result in frostbite and hypothermia," said Christopher M. Pope, Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. "We strongly urge people to dress in layers and take other precautions to protect themselves and their families."

Pope offered a number of other suggestions for staying safe in extremely cold weather:

  • Monitor weather conditions via broadcast news reports or the Internet.
  • Limit time outdoors, especially by the elderly, the very young and pets. Anyone participating in outdoor recreational activities should dress for extreme conditions.
  • Seek immediate medical attention for persons showing signs of frostbite or hypothermia. Indications of frostbite are a loss of sensation and a pale appearance in body extremities. Warning signs of hypothermia are incontrollable shivering, slurred speech, disorientation and exhaustion.
  • Exercise caution when using alternative heating sources, such as a fireplace, wood stove or space heater. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Never use an outdoor appliance, such as a charcoal or gas grill, for indoor heating or cooking.
  • Be a good neighbor. Check on the welfare of elderly or disabled relatives or friends to ensure their safety.
  • Insulate pipes to keep them from freezing and allow a trickle of water to run from the faucet farthest from the service entrance.
  • If pipes freeze, do not use an open flame to thaw them. Use a hair dryer or other non-flame heat source.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your home that includes flashlights and fresh batteries, a battery-powered radio, bottled water, non-perishable food and a first aid kit.
  • Insure that your car is properly winterized. Keep the gas tank at least half full and keep a jumper cable, tow rope, blankets and a flashlight and fresh batteries in it for emergencies.

The National Weather Service is predicting extremely cold temperatures throughout New Hampshire through the weekend.

   
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