The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been closely following the extreme weather events across the country and offers these tips to help keep you and your family safe.
Learn how to protect yourself from deadly carbon monoxide poisoning: Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced by furnaces, vehicles, portable generators, stoves, lanterns, gas ranges, or burning wood. You can protect yourself from common sources of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can lead to serious illness or death. For example, don’t ever heat your house with a gas oven or burn anything in a stove or fireplace that is not vented. And if your power goes out, remember to never use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline- or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage, or outside less than 20 feet from a window, door, or vent. Other safety tipspdf icon include:
- Never run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the garage door open.
- Seek prompt medical attention if you feel dizzy, light-headed, or nauseated and suspect CO poisoning.
- If you have a CO detector, leave your home immediately and call 911 if it sounds.
If winter weather is forecast where you live, be prepared for winter health hazards:
Winter weather can impact your home, car, pets and even the amount of time you spend outdoors. Power outages also can occur this time of the year, so it is important to prepare ahead of time. Winterize your home by installing weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows. Get your car ready for cold weather with preventive maintenance and keep an emergency kit in your car including blankets, food and water, first aid supplies, and other items you may need if you are stranded.
CDC also recommends that you take precautions when spending time outdoors. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing and be aware of the wind chill factor. Check weather reports, tell someone where you are going, and keep your cellphone charged. If you are injured by cold weather, learn how to avoid, spot, and treat frostbite and hypothermia.
This winter, don’t forget COVID-19 precautions:
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, CDC continues to advise precautions to keep yourself and others healthy. If you go into a public building or warming shelter to stay warm, wear a mask, bring hand sanitizer, and stay at least 6 feet from others. Scarves, ski masks, and balaclavas are not substitutes for masks, but you can wear them over your mask. If it is too cold to safely open doors or windows, consider other approaches for reducing virus particles in the air, such as using air filtration and/or bathroom and stove exhaust fans.