Freezing temperatures and even ice storms — prolonged periods of freezing rain — do happen in the South. Here are some tips from the American Red Cross to help make sure you and your family stay safe during a winter storm:
- Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat.
- Seek medical attention immediately if you have symptoms of hypothermia, including confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering.
- Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
- If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away — things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
- If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
- Don’t forget your pets — bring them indoors. If they can’t come inside, 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. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
- Use generators correctly — never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
- Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.
Find more winter weather preparation tips at the American Red Cross website.