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As severe winter conditions set in, take some precautions

With forecasts of snow, high winds and icy conditions today, followed by dangerously low temperatures through the weekend, the Federal Emergency Management Agency advises that individuals and families take precautions to protect against the hazards severe winter weather may bring.

“Icy roads and blowing snow can make travel extremely hazardous,” said Kevin M. Sligh, acting regional administrator, FEMA Region 5. “Stay inside your home as much as possible. If you must drive, bring an emergency kit that includes an ice scraper, blanket and flashlight, and keep the fuel tank above half full.”

Protect yourself and your family by taking the necessary precautions:

— Before the temperatures drop, gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days. Keep in mind each person’s and pet’s specific needs, including medication;

— Dress in layers and keep dry;

— Check on neighbors, family and friends while following the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on maintaining social and physical distancing;

— Know the symptoms of cold-related health issues such as frostbite and hypothermia and seek medical attention if health conditions are severe. Learn more at the CDC’s webpage Prevent Frostbite & Hypothermia;

— Plug only one heat-producing appliance, such as a space heater, into an electrical outlet at a time and turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. Never use an oven to heat the home;

— Bring pets indoors or ensure they have a warm shelter area with unfrozen water; and

— Prepare for power outages. Make sure to fully charge all electronics before severe weather begins to affect your area. Use generators outside only and away from windows.

For more information on preparing for winter emergencies, go to www.ready.gov/winter, bookmark FEMA’s mobile site at http://m.fema.gov or download the FEMA app.

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