The National Weather Service predicts a cold weather system with freezing overnight temperatures moving into the area this week (Tuesday through Saturday). Sheriff John D’Agostini, along with the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Division, is asking residents to take steps now to prepare. Those especially at risk during extreme cold weather include seniors, infants and animals.
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Prepare your home for winter:
• Insulate exterior water pipes to avoid freezing; learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
• Have fireplace and wood stove chimneys or flues inspected each year.
• Install a smoke detector and battery operated carbon monoxide detector, and test these monthly.
• 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.
Prepare your car for winter:
• Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.
• 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.
Prepare yourself, your family and your pets for winter:
• Wear several layers of loose-fitting, warm clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
• Avoid heavy exertion in the cold.
• 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.
Taking time to prepare in advance will greatly reduce the risk of weather-related issues. For additional information, visit the National Weather Service Website at wrh.noaa.gov/sto/.