Cleveland leaders warn residents about the cold

(Cleveland) - As extreme cold weather is approaching this coming week the City of Cleveland wants to remind our citizens about some things you should be aware of to prepare before the cold weather arrives.  View footage from the Jan. 25 press conference  providing winter tips. 

Winter Weather Preparedness Tips:

· CodeRED:  Winter weather brings many challenges for our citizens and in order to stay informed of emergencies during this winter season, the City encourages everyone to sign up for CodeRED. It is simple and easy to access. Click on this  link  and follow the instructions. Users can download the application or sign up online.

· CheckEmergency Supply Kits:  Do you have extra winter clothes, sufficient food and water, extra batteries, flashlights, and a battery or hand-crank radio? What about medications, toys for the kids, pet food, and copies of important information such as numbers for your local utilities? While checking on your own supplies, take some time to check on your neighbors and the elderly. Ensure that all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home are working properly.

· Take personal precautions and check on the vulnerable:  The cold weather may put a strain on your heart. Follow your doctor’s advice about shoveling snow or other strenuous work. Many injuries result from falls on ice-covered surfaces. Make sure to keep steps and walkways clean and free of ice. Infants and the elderly are most at risk for cold-related illness. Keep in touch with elderly or at-risk neighbors or relatives, making sure they are safe and that their homes are adequately heated.

· Dress appropriately in the cold:  Almost all cases of hypothermia and frostbite are preventable. If you must be outside, dress appropriately: wear loose fitting layers to provide overall body warmth, a hat, scarf, mittens and boots will provide additional protection from the elements. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs. Keep dry, change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. If you suspect hypothermia or frostbite, call 911 immediately. If possible, protect the person from further exposure to the cold, remove any wet clothing and warm without rubbing the affected areas. 

· Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather : Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water. Don’t forget or skip planning and preparing for your animals! For concerns about pets outside in extreme weather call  216-664-3069 .

· Insulate water pipes in unheated areas:  If you have pipes in unheated areas, like a garage or crawl space, wrap the water pipes with an insulating material, such as a foam tube, or heat tape.

· Leave a pencil-lead thin stream of water flowing:  Water continuously flowing throughout the pipes in your home can help prevent them from freezing. You can also open cabinet doors to allow the heat of your house to circulate around plumbing under sinks.

· Seal gaps and cracks in doors and windows:  Seal places where cold air gets in with caulking or spray foam but be careful not to plug air vents that appliances need to function properly.

· Plug portable space heaters directly into the outlet:  Do not use an extension cord. Also, remember to keep all furniture, draperies flammable materials and other household objects at least three feet from your space heater.

· Always unplug your electric blanket when not in use:  It is common for electric blankets and portable heaters to be recalled, make sure to check your brand and model to ensure it has not been recalled. 

Numbers to Keep in Mind:

·If you are experiencing a water main break on your street please call  Cleveland Water  664-3060.

·For a power outage you should contact  Cleveland Public Power  at 664-3156.

·If you are experiencing street flooding or your basement is flooding please call  Water Pollution Control  at 664-2513.

Additional Information:

·The City of Cleveland’s Office of Aging provides a  Winter Resource Guide  which gives helpful tips and information for qualified Cleveland Residents.

· Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH):

If you are in need of shelter during this extreme cold weather this  resource guide  provides information on locations and contact information. The homeless system is in emergency mode and no one in need will be turned away.

(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)

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