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Extreme Temperatures

Extreme Cold

o   Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal¬ burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Keep these devices at least 20 feet from doors, windows, and vents.

o   People who depend on electricity to operate medical equipment should have alternate arrangements in place in case power is out for an extended period of time.

o   Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.

o   Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.

o   Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.

o   Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).

o   Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.

o   Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.

o   Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.

o   Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.

o   Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).

o   Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.

o   People who depend on electricity to operate medical equipment should have alternate arrangements in place in case power is out for an extended period of time.

o   Stay indoors during winter storms and extreme cold conditions.

o   Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule and your route; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.

o   Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.

o   Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads.

o   Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.

o   If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.

o   Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.

o   Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to reduce heat loss.

o   Have an extra emergency kit for your vehicle, add a portable cell phone charger, ice scraper, extra blanket, sand for traction in case of snow and ice, and jumper cables.

o   Make sure you have a cell phone with an emergency charging option (car, solar, hand crank, etc.) in case of a power failure.

o   Delay travel if at all possible and remember Ice & Snow, Take it Slow, if you are travelling.

o   Do not attempt to move any downed power lines. Instead contact your local power company to report the damage or call 9-1-1 if it is an emergency situation.

o   Call *THP (*847) if you get stranded to be connected to the closest Tennessee Highway Patrol dispatch location.

o   Call 511 for traffic information from the Tennessee Department of Transportation.


Extreme Cold Terms

o   Freezing Rain - Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.

o   Sleet - Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.

o   Wind Chill- Windchill is the temperature it “feels like” when you are outside. The NWS provides a Windchill Chart to show the difference between air temperature and the perceived temperature and the amount of time until frostbite occurs. For more information, visit: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter/windchill.shtml.

o   Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening. The NWS issues a winter weather advisory when conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences that may be hazardous. If caution is used, these situations should not be life-threatening.

o   Winter Storm Watch - A winter storm is possible in your area. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for more information. The NWS issues a winter storm watch when severe winter conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice, may affect your area but the location and timing are still uncertain. A winter storm watch is issued 12 to 36 hours in advance of a potential severe storm. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio, TV, or other news sources for more information. Monitor alerts, check your emergency supplies, and gather any items you may need if you lose power.

o   Winter Storm Warning - A winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area.

o   Blizzard Warning - Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable amounts of falling or blowing snow (reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile) are expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer.

o   Frost/Freeze Warning - Below freezing temperatures are expected.


Special Messages:  Cold-Related Illnesses

o   Frostbite is a serious condition that’s caused by exposure to extremely cold temperatures.  Watch for:  a white or grayish-yellow skin area; skin that feels unusually firm or waxy; numbness

o   If you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care.

o   Hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature, is a dangerous condition that can occur when a person is exposed to extremely cold temperatures.

o   Warnings signs of hypothermia include:

(1)    Adults - shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech drowsiness.

(2)    Infants - bright red, cold skin, very low energy.

o   If you notice any of these signs, take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95° F, the situation is an emergency—get medical attention immediately.


Extreme Heat

o   Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.

o   Drink plenty of fluids and replace salts and minerals in your body. Anyone on a fluid-restricted diet or who has a problem with fluid retention should consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake. People with epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease should also consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.

o   Limit intake of alcoholic beverages.

o   Closely monitor a local radio station, TV station or NOAA Weather Radio for the latest information.

o   Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible. Protect face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.

o   Spend time in air-conditioned places. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, spend some time each day in an air-conditioned environment such as public libraries, shopping malls or other indoor public spaces.

o   Stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine if air conditioning is not available.

o   Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.

o   Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.

o   Avoid strenuous work during the warmest part of the day. Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat, and take frequent breaks.

o   Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals. Hot, heavy meals add heat to your body. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.

o   Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.

o   Be aware that people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than are people living in rural areas.

o   Get trained in first aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.

o   Check to see if your home’s cooling system is working properly.

o   Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the cool air inside.

o   Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.

o   Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.

o   Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside, and weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.

o   Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)

o   Keep storm windows up all year.


Extreme Heat Terms

o   Heat Wave - Prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity.

o   Heat Index - A number in degrees Fahrenheit (F) that tells how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the air temperature. Exposure to full sunshine can increase the heat index by 15 degrees.

o   Excessive Heat Watch - Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to meet or exceed local Excessive Heat Warning criteria in the next 24 to 72 hours.

o   Excessive Heat Warning - Heat Index values are forecast to meet or exceed locally defined warning criteria for at least 2 days (daytime highs=105-110° Fahrenheit).

o   Heat Advisory - Heat Index values are forecast to meet locally defined advisory criteria for 1 to 2 days (daytime highs=100-105° Fahrenheit).


Special Messages:  Heat-Related Illnesses

o   Heat Exhaustion - Typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headaches, nausea, fainting. If not treated, the victim's condition will worsen.

o   If these symptoms are observed:

(1)    Move victim to air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or remove clothing.

(2)    Cool the victim by placing them in a cool shower or bath, or by applying cool, wet cloths.

(3)    Give sips of water or cool sports drinks containing salt and sugar. Do not give liquids with caffeine or alcohol. Discontinue liquids if victim is nauseated.

(4)    Seek immediate medical attention if there is no improvement, the victim is unable to take fluids, vomiting occurs, or any symptoms are severe.

o   Heat Stroke - A life-threatening condition. The victim's temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly. Symptoms include extremely high body temperature above 103°F, hot dry red skin, rapid strong pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, unconsciousness.

o   If these symptoms ae observed:

(1)    Call 911 or emergency medical services, or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal.

(2)    Until the emergency medical personnel arrive on scene or during transport to the hospital, move the person to a cooler location, cool by removing clothing, bath, sponging, applying a cold we sheet.

(3)    Do not give the victim fluids to drink.