American Red Cross Offers Tips To Combat The Cold

Very cold temperatures and dangerously low wind chills continue to affect Eastern Pennsylvania. The arctic air mass will grip the region through the start of the New Year.

“The relentless cold can be dangerous for a number of reasons,” said Dave Skutnik, Director of Communications for the American Red Cross Eastern Pennsylvania Region. “Make sure you and your family are aware of the risks cold weather poses and understand how to safely stay warm.”

Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat.

Know the signs of hypothermia -confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. If someone has these symptoms, they should get immediate medical attention.

Watch for symptoms of frostbite including numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness or waxy feeling skin.

Bring the pets indoors. If that’s not possible, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.

Avoid frozen pipes -run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent them from freezing. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night to help avoid freezing pipes. Open cabinet doors to allow warmer air from the room to get to pipes near sinks, etc.

Do not use a stove or oven to heat the home.

If you use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs, or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Plug power cords directly into outlets and never into an extension cord.

If using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.

If the power goes out, always run a generator outside, never inside the home including in the basement or garage. Generators produce deadly carbon monoxide and must be placed in well ventilated areas.

People can download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to weather alerts for their area and where loved ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case you encounter any mishaps. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.