El Dorado County health officials are advising the public to prepare their homes, vehicles and families for cold weather.
El Dorado County Health and Human Service Agency recommends the following tips.
Prepare your home
- Insulate exterior water pipes to avoid freezing; learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
- Have fireplace and woodstove chimneys or flues inspected each year.
- Install a smoke detector and battery-operated carbon monoxide detector, and test these monthly.
- Remember to never use barbeques or cooking stoves as a source of heat indoors, as these can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is toxic if encountered in high concentrations.
- Keep an emergency kit in an easy-access location. The emergency kit should include extra blankets and warm clothing, flashlights, a battery-powered radio, extra batteries, food and water, a non-electric can opener, first aid kit, and pet supplies and medications, if needed.
- Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture and replace windshield wipers.
- Replace worn tires and check air pressure. Carry tire chains in each vehicle.
- Be cautious about travel; check road conditions before traveling and let others know of your route and estimated time of arrival. Keep extra blankets, food and water in your vehicle.
- Dress appropriately for the weather. Wear several layers of loose-fitting, warm clothing.- The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
- Wear mittens and a hat ? most of the body's heat escapes through the head. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
- Avoid heavy exertion in the cold; cold weather can put added strain on the heart. If you must work outdoors, dress warmly and work slowly.
- Regularly check on the well-being of loved ones, friends and neighbors.
- Make sure outdoor pets and large animals have adequate shelter, plenty of food and unfrozen water. If possible, move family pets indoors.
For more information and tips on winter weather preparation, visit www.edcgov.us/publichealth or www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/winter.