The American Red Cross is urging people to take 10 simple steps to stay safe as frigid air and wintery conditions move into South Carolina.
“Although winter weather can be dangerous, you can take steps to protect yourself and your family,” said Tony Reid, regional disaster officer for the American Red Cross, Palmetto SC Region. “We want everyone to stay safe as the temperatures drop outside.”
Here are ten ways to stay safe during this latest round of winter weather and cold temperatures:
1. Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat help prevent loss of body heat.
2. Know the signs of hypothermia - confusion, dizziness, exhaustion, and severe shivering. If someone has these symptoms, they should get immediate medical attention.
3. Watch for symptoms of frostbite including numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.
4. Bring pets indoors. If that’s not possible, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they have unfrozen water.
5. 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.
6. Do not use a stove or oven to heat the home.
7. Space heaters should sit on a level, hard surface and anything flammable should be kept at least three feet away.
8. If using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
9. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
When a disaster strikes, such as winter weather, know when and where shelters have been opened to provide assistance by downloading the free Red Cross Shelter Finder App at redcross.org/apps. Follow @RedCrossSC for more winter weather tips and preparedness information.
In South Carolina, the American Red Cross, on average, responds to a disaster every four hours. Because of volunteers and financial assistance from the community, the Red Cross was able to help more than 7,000 individuals affected by disasters in South Carolina last year.