The Norwalk Fire Departments Office of Emergency Management is urging families to take precautions during Sundays blizzard conditions. Severe winter storms can result in power outages, frozen pipes, fires and other life-threatening events when people use unsafe alternative heat sources and don't take precautions against the cold. The elderly and the very young are especially susceptible to hypothermia, frostbite and other cold weather health problems.
Here are the Fire Department's recommendations:
? Don't drive unless it's necessary. Stay home during the height of the snowfall for your own safety and to make it easier for snowplows to clear streets. If you do need to be on the road, make sure you have some emergency supplies in your car. Keep fire hydrants near your home clear. As snow begins to accumulate, ensure that any fire hydrants near your home are clear of snow and easy to locate· Maintain at least a half-tank of gas in your vehicle during the winter season and keep an emergency supply kit in your car.
? Dress for the weather. Wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves. Wear a hat. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
? Create a disaster supplies kit and a disaster plan. Get together lifesaving items in both your home and vehicle. Create a disaster plan that will help your family stay connected during emergencies.
? Be careful with candles. Do not use candles for lighting if the power goes out. Use flashlights only.
? Prevent frozen pipes. When the weather is very cold outside, open cabinet doors to let warm air circulate around water pipes. Let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipes even at a trickle helps prevent them from freezing because the temperature of the water running through it is above freezing. Keep the thermostat set to a consistent temperature.
? Give space heaters space. Keep fixed and portable space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn. Turn off heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep. Do not use stoves and ovens to heat your residence.
? Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure alarms and CO detectors are working properly and replace batteries as necessary.
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