American Red Cross offers 10 ways to survive frigid weather

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Tennessee Valley is bracing for the first serious blast of frigid air.  That means emergency responders and charitable organizations are getting in position to help people with any critical problems they may face.

The American Red Cross (ARC) has a list of steps people can take to stay safe during this hazardous weather.

It’s advice that bears repeating since folks in the Tennessee Valley don’t see this kind of weather very often.

The ARC offers ten ways to stay safe during this latest round of cold temperatures:

1.    Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat.

2.     Know the signs of hypothermia – confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. If someone has these symptoms, they should get immediate medical attention.

3.    Watch for symptoms of frostbite including numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness or waxy feeling skin.

4.     Bring the pets indoors. If that’s not possible, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.

5.    Avoid frozen pipes – run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent them from freezing. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night to help avoid freezing pipes.

6.    Do not use a stove or oven to heat the home.

7.    Space heaters should sit on a level, hard surface and anything flammable should be kept at least three feet away.

8.    If using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

9.    Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.