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Palm Coast Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018 1 year ago

Safety tips: Bracing for the cold, on and off the road

Stay safe by taking note of these tips.

Officials urge using 5 Ps of cold-weather preparation, shelter opens

Press release by Julie Murphy, Flagler County Public Information Officer

Flagler County’s Office of Emergency Management is monitoring the current cold weather conditions, and officials urge residents to practice the five Ps of cold weather preparation.

“We are asking our residents and visitors to protect their life and property during this cold weather event,” said Acting Emergency Management Chief Sally Sherman. “Children and the elderly are the most sensitive to the effects of the cold temperatures and strong winds.”

PROTECT PEOPLE: Remember to dress in layers and wear a hat and gloves. It is important to try to stay out of the wind and to stay dry. 

PROTECT PETS: Be sure to bring outdoor pets inside, or give them a warm shelter to stay for the duration of the cold weather.

PROTECT PLANTS: Cover cold sensitive plants to protect them from the dangerous temperatures.

PROTECT PIPES: Cover pipes and allow outdoor faucets to slowly drip to prevent from freezing and breaking.

PRACTICE FIRE SAFETY: Use safe heating sources indoors. Do not use fuel-burning devices such as grills; they release carbon monoxide, which is a deadly gas. Also, make sure to use space heaters according to their instructions and be attentive to open flames.

The Sheltering Tree – 205 N. Pine Street, Bunnell, 386-437-3258 ext. 105 – will be open to accommodate those without appropriate housing.


Safety tips for driving on icy roadways:

Press release by the Captain Jeff Bissainthe, Florida Highway Patrol

Today, Governor Rick Scott issued a press release urging North Florida residents, visitors and businesses to prepare for extreme cold weather conditions. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and it’s division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) provides these safe driving tips to motorists: 

  • Stay put. Avoid driving, if at all possible. The safest place to be is off the roads. 
  • Slow down. When roads are icy, vehicles don’t have the traction required to stop quickly. 
  • Stay alert. When the temperature is near freezing, the roadway may look wet when in fact ice is forming. 
  • Check tire inflation often. As temperatures drop, so can your tire pressure. Low tire pressure does not give tires better traction in icy conditions, it only makes them more vulnerable to damage. 
  • Remember that bridges and overpasses are more prone to freezing in these types of conditions and will ice over first. Proceed with caution when driving in these areas. 
  • Do not attempt to pass slower vehicles. 
  • Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. 
  • Gently apply brakes and accelerate at a slow speed. 
  • Be patient and courteous. Driving in adverse weather conditions can be stressful. 
  • Florida does not allow tire chains. Section 316.299, Florida Statutes, states that only tires with rubber studs designed to improve traction are permitted on public roadways. 


Winter safety tips:

Press release by Mary Lachendro, Florida Health PIO

The Florida Department of Health in Flagler urges Florida residents to take precautions to stay healthy and safe during extreme cold weather. With wind chills forecasted as low as 25 degrees this week in many areas of the state, it is important to take extra precautions.

  • Stay indoors as much as possible to keep healthy, safe and warm. Make sure to check on friends and family members and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill.
  • For outside activities, dress in multiple layers of loose-fitting clothing. Don't forget to wear a hat, scarf and mittens, or other winter gear.
  • Heat your home safely. If you plan to use a wood stove, fireplace, or space heater, be extremely careful. Make sure each appliance is properly adjusted and you have followed the manufacturer's instructions and local building codes for use.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by never using generators, charcoal grills or gas grills indoors and by installing a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas.
  • As temperatures dip below freezing, leave your home's water taps slightly open so they drip continuously.
  • Eat well-balanced meals to stay warmer. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages—they cause your body to lose heat more rapidly. Instead, drink warm beverages such as hot chocolate or hot tea to help maintain your body temperature. If you have any dietary restrictions, consult your doctor.
  • Bring pets out of the cold weather and provide them warm shelter.
  • Cold weather can displace wild animals. Stay clear of wild or feral animals including cats, bats or raccoons especially if they look sick or appear injured. They could have rabies, and hurt animals can also injure you.

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