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Be Prepared For More Winter Weather

9:18 AM, Feb 10, 2014   |    comments
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(WLTX) - The forecast for Columbia includes the strong possibility of snow and ice Tuesday into Wednesday, with temps hovering at or below freezing overnight.

Here are several safety tips, courtesy of Richland County Emergency Services:

• Bring outdoor pets inside overnight. Despite their thick fur, extreme low temperatures can cause a dog's body temperature to fall, leading to hypothermia. Layers of blankets, hay, or woodchips in dog houses do not retain heat.

• Watch for signs of frostbite in family and friends. These include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.

• Watch for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible.

• Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don't travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.

• Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

• If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold - or where the cold was most likely to penetrate.

Follow These Tips To Prevent Water Pipes From Freezing http://on.wltx.com/1eTqloT

• Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.

• Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms.

• If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees.

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