The National Weather Service reports that dangerously low temperatures and wind chills will continue to impact Ohio until Saturday. Temperatures are expected to rise to the 20's and 30's by the weekend.
"When temperatures and wind chills are this extreme, it is safest to limit your time and exposure to the outdoor elements," said Evan Schumann, executive director of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. "If you must go outside or travel, it is important to check local news for weather and road conditions."
FEMA and the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness (OCSWA) offer the following precautions during severe winter conditions and extreme cold:
- Stay indoors as much as possible; do not go out during a storm; and limit your exposure to the cold.
- Walk slowly and carefully on snowy, icy walkways. If possible, use rock salt or other ice-melting products on walkways.
- Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack, which is a major cause of death in the winter.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors who may be at risk or may need additional assistance. Click here to read the Ohio Department of Aging's press release on winter safety.
- Dress in layers and keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat.
- Know the signs of cold-related health issues such as frost bite and hypothermia, and seek medical attention if health conditions are severe.
- Bring your pets indoors or shelter animals to ensure they have warmth and unfrozen water. Click http://www.ready.gov/caring-animals for pet owners' emergency information.
- Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive:
- Travel during the day
- Be aware of weather conditions and traffic reports
- Do not travel alone
- Keep others informed of your travel schedule
- Make sure your vehicle has an emergency kit that includes an ice scraper, battery jumper cables, a blanket, flashlight, cell phone with car charger, and keep the fuel tank above half-full
- To prevent home water pipes from freezing, open cabinet doors to expose pipes. Allow a low stream of water to flow. If the pipes freeze, clear the cabinets of items that are flammable or capable of melting, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers, run a portable electric heater on the pipes. Do not leave the home unattended.
Additional Winter Health & Safety Tips are available on the OCSWA website: http://weathersafety.ohio.gov/WinterHealthSafetyTips.aspx