According to the City of Edmond Emergency Management team, stay inside when you can, but if you must go outside even the briefest exposure can lead to frostbite and hypothermia. Skin exposed to the elements could be vulnerable to frostbite in as little as 10 minutes. To protect yourself remember:
- Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing.
- Wear a hat. Try to stay dry and out of the wind.
- Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold.
- Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves.
Remember, your pets and animals are at risk as well. To help keep them safe:
- Bring pets inside.
- If you can’t bring animals inside, provide shelter and fresh water.
- Keep salt away from paws.
Snow and ice accumulations aren’t expected to reach the point of road impacts in our area, but, if you must travel:
- Check your vehicle battery in advance.
- Fill your car up with fuel in advance to help prevent fuel-line freezing. Check your fluids (coolant, wiper fluid, oil, etc.) as well.
- Check your tires for inflation or anything that might cause a flat or loss of tire pressure.
- Have jumper cables
- Pack a blanket
Make sure your home is prepared for winter. Window and door seals can be checked in advance and you can cover windows for an extra layer of protection. Also, when temperatures drop well below freezing, it can cause pipes and irrigations systems to freeze. Make sure your irrigation system is closed down and to prevent pipes running along outside walls from freezing:
- Let hot and cold water trickle or drip at night from a faucet.
- Open cabinet doors to allow more heat to get to un-insulated pipes under a sink or near an outer wall.
- Make sure heat is left on and set no lower than 55 degrees.
- If you plan to be away, have someone check your house daily to make sure the heat is still on to prevent freezing, or drain and shut off the water system (except indoor sprinkler systems).
If you plan to use a space heart or an alternative source for heat or generator for those purposes, be mindful of the need for proper venting and the issues of carbon monoxide. If those steps are necessary, please:
- Install a carbon monoxide detector.
- Never run generators indoors.
- Open a window slightly when using a kerosene heater and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Never use a gas oven to heat your home.
- If your heat goes out, keep warm indoors by closing off rooms you do not need, dressing in layers of lightweight clothing, and wearing a cap.
For use of wood-burning stoves, fireplaces and heaters:
- Always keep a screen around an open flame.
- Never use gasoline to start your fireplace.
- Never burn charcoal indoors.
- Do not close the damper when ashes are hot.
- Use only safe sources of alternative heat such as a fireplace, small well-vented wood or coal stove or portable space heaters. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions.
For more information, visit the City of Edmond’s website. To report an outage due to the weather, call 405-216-7660.