Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Florida Division of Emergency Management officials are reminding residents and visitors to the Sunshine State to practice cold weather safety this holiday season.

“Weather forecasts are indicating that we may experience colder than usual temperatures over the next week,” said Division of Emergency Management Director, David Halstead. “As we gather with friends and family to enjoy the holiday season, it is important to keep in mind those cold weather safety tips that could prevent unnecessary injury.”

The following actions are important cold weather safety measures:
• Stay indoors and use safe heating sources.
• Be aware of the fire danger from space heaters and candles, keep such devices away from all flammable materials such as curtains and furniture, and install recommended smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
• Indoors: Do not use charcoal or other fuel-burning devices, such as grills that produce carbon monoxide. Install at least one carbon monoxide detector per floor in your home.
• Outdoors: Stay dry and in wind-protected areas.
• Wear multiple layers of loose-fitting, warm clothing.
• Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids.

December is an excellent time to commit to building a personal disaster supply kit. Individuals and families will benefit from taking the time to put supply items together in a storage container. A collection of food, water, clothing, essential documents, medicines, and cash will form a foundation for safety residents can add to and monitor throughout the year. Weather radios, flashlights, batteries, first-aid kits, smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers are essential supply items that everyone can use. These items are widely available and reasonably priced to fit any budget.

If your home kit is in order, now is the time to refresh the supplies. Although most canned food items last for quite awhile, check the expiration date and consider donating non-expired items to your local food bank or charity. Bottled water should not be stored for prolonged periods but can be used to water plants and Christmas trees.

Disaster Supply Kit Items:

• Water - at least one gallon daily per person for three to seven days

• Food - at least enough for three to seven days:
o non-perishable packaged or canned food/juices
o food for infants or the elderly
o snack foods
o non-electric can opener
o cooking tools and fuel
o paper plates and plastic utensils

• Blankets, pillows, etc.
• Clothing: seasonal, rain gear, sturdy shoes
• First aid kit, medicines, prescription drugs
• Special items for babies and the elderly
• Toiletries, hygiene items, moisture wipes
• Flashlight and batteries
• Battery-operated radio and NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio
• Cash as banks and ATMs may not be open or available for extended periods
• Keys
• Toys, books and games
• Important documents – in a waterproof container
• Insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.
• Tools – keep a set with you
• Fill vehicles with fuel

• Pet care items:
o Proper identification, immunization records, medications
o Ample supply of food and water
o Carrier or cage
o Muzzle and leash

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