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January 23, 2013

Precautions for Extreme Cold

Sub-zero temperatures persist in most areas of Vermont and the National Weather Service says they are expected to continue.

The Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security offer the following safety tips compiled from the Centers for Disease Control and Ready.gov:

Personal protection

• Avoid frostbite and hypothermia - dress warmly and stay dry.

• Wear a hat, scarf, and mittens.

• If you have to do heavy outdoor chores, dress warmly.

• Avoid traveling on ice-covered roads, overpasses, and bridges if at all possible.

• If you are stranded, it is safest to stay in your car.

For more visit: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/

For your home

• Ensure that you have a plentiful supply of heating fuel. Most fuel companies will make emergency deliveries to homes that run out of fuel, but deliveries during off-hours like nights or weekends are typically more expensive, or could take extra time. Call your fuel supplier or 2-1-1 for emergency information on fuel deliveries if needed.

• Use proper home heating fuel. The proper grade and type of fuel must always be used for heating systems. Also, lighter fluid, gasoline, kerosene, and other fuels must NEVER be used to start a heating or any other fire.

• Carbon Monoxide/fire risks. CO is odorless, tasteless, and can be deadly. CO detectors should be installed on every level of the home; particularly in the immediate area of any space heater. Many heating systems are also major fire sources; smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home; if alarms sound, take appropriate action and contact local emergency responders to investigate the problem - never ignore an alarm. Be sure to clear snow from any heating vents.

• Be sure your home is winterized and pipes insulated.

• Know how to shut water valves off, in case a pipe does freeze and burst. If pipes are frozen try a hairdryer to thaw them. Never use a torch as that can lead to a fire that can quickly get out of control.

• If you lose heat or power, seek shelter at a warm place. Call 2-1-1 for options if you are in need.

For more visit: http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

Source: Department of Public Safety
Last Updated at: January 23, 2013 15:25:36
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