GEMA urges residents to prepare for cold weather - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

GEMA urges residents to prepare for cold weather

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

In the next few days, temperatures are expected to hit their lowest marks of the winter so far. On Wednesday and Thursday, Savannah residents can expect to see temperatures drop as low as 19 degrees.

Even without precipitation, cold weather can pose dangerous hazards. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA)'s Ready Georgia campaign offers these tips to help your readers get prepared this week and for the duration of the winter season:

· Prepare a Ready kit of emergency supplies for your home. Include with at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food, water, a flashlight with extra batteries, a NOAA Weather Radio, adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm, as well as additional supplies for the unique needs of your family, such as medication.

· Winterize your home by placing weather stripping around doors and windows. During cold weather, allow faucets to drip, and open cabinet doors to let heat reach uninsulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.

· If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, stock sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off.

· If you don't have a fireplace, consider using portable space heaters or kerosene heaters. Make sure you use heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements, and remember to keep heat sources at least 3 feet away from furniture and drapes.

· Never use an oven to heat your home. Never bring portable generators, camp stoves and grills into your home; they should only be used outside. Keep them at least 20 feet away from your home's windows, doors and vents to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.

· Keep an extra Ready kit in the trunk of your car. In addition to the basic essentials, consider adding a portable cell phone charger, ice scraper, extra blanket, sand for traction and jumper cables.

· Create an emergency communications plan so family members will know who to contact if separated during a storm. Designate at least one out-of-town contact who all family members can call. Determine a way to let family and friends know you're OK if the power goes out. Create a customized plan for your family using the Ready Georgia website or mobile app.

· Make sure you have a way to stay informed about winter weather. Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio or other battery-operated radio to monitor changing winter weather conditions. Download the Ready Georgia mobile app, which includes geo-targeted severe weather and emergency alerts that will notify your phones before disasters strike.

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