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Residents reminded to take potential dangers of winter storms seriously

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With the first serious cold weather storm front of 2016 now behind us, the Tennessee Department of Health is reminding residents about the need for increased efforts to protect themselves, their families and their friends from winter weather-related harm.
“We all need to take these potentially deadly winter weather activities and storms seriously, and use warnings as an opportunity to prepare and think differently than our normal routine to prevent a tragedy,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “It can happen to any of us while clearing a snowy driveway that strains a heart, falling in a bathrobe that leaves us outside for longer than we expected, consuming alcohol and drugs that make us more vulnerable to hypothermia or placing the generator outside a door or window that allows in deadly gas. We lost wonderful people to cold temperatures last year from things like heart attacks, hypothermia and carbon monoxide poisoning. Let’s do all we can to be prepared and watch out for each other this winter.”
TDH offers these suggestions on planning and preparing for winter weather:
Keep at least a half-tank of gas in your vehicle at all times, and be sure you have an emergency kit in the vehicle. This should include candles and matches; a blanket; food such as energy bars and water; a small shovel; flashlight with fresh batteries; first aid supplies; a charger for your cell phone; ice scraper; gloves and extra clothing.
Dress for the weather even when you’ll be inside a vehicle; you never know when you will have an accident or mechanical failure. Wear layers including warm socks, a scarf, a hat, gloves and appropriate shoes or boots for walking in snow and ice.
Carry an extra set of car keys in case you get locked out of your vehicle.

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