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Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Stay safe in extreme cold conditions

DENTON, Texas – Extremely cold weather is gripping much of the nation, including areas of Region 6 where these temperatures are a rare occurrence. Staying warm and dry is important when temperatures may dip into single digits and wind chills into subzero levels.

During these cold weather conditions, you can do several things to help yourself and others stay safe.

  • Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage, even if doors and windows are open. Keep generators outside and far away from windows, doors and vents.
    • Read and follow instructions on the generator label and in the owner’s manual. Any electrical cables you use with the generator should be free of damage and suitable for outdoor use.
  • Never use charcoal grills or camp stoves indoors. Deaths have occurred when consumers burned charcoal or used camp stoves in enclosed spaces, which produced lethal levels of carbon monoxide.
  • Never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven.
  • Stay away from downed wires, including cable TV feeds. They may be live with deadly voltage.
  • Use caution with candles. If possible, use flashlights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire. Never leave burning candles unattended. Extinguish candles when you leave the room.
  • Keep your emergency supplies well stocked in your car. Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, gloves, hats, bottled water and nonperishable snacks. You may also want to include a snow shovel or add sand for traction. If you are told to stay off the roads, don’t venture out. Shelter in place at your home or business.  
  • Stay indoors and limit your time outside as much as possible. If you do have to go outside, wear layers and limit strenuous activities. Also be sure to use salt, kitty litter or sand to provide traction on slick steps, walkways and ramps.
  • Wear layers and have blankets available to add additional warmth. Layers will keep you warmer than a bulky sweater. 
  • If it is safe, check on neighbors who may need assistance — older adults, people with disabilities and young children are more at risk in extreme cold.
  • Keep pets indoors as much as possible. Provide hay and a water source for any livestock, and shelter if feasible.
  • Monitor the media for updated information on the storm and/or actions to take. Follow the directions provided by local, state or tribal officials regarding emergency actions.
  • If you need shelter, contact 2-1-1 to find available shelters in your area.

Visit Ready.gov/winter-weather for more information on how to stay safe in winter weather.

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