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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, December 6, 2013
Vivian Eason, Emergency Management Coordinator, (360) 867-2825 or EasonV@co.thurston.wa.us
Sandy Johnson, Interim Emergency Manager, (360) 867-2800 or JohnsonS@co.thurston.wa.us

Stay Warm and Stay Safe During Deep Freeze Weather

With temperatures dropping into the teens this weekend, Thurston County Emergency Management officials remind residents that a little caution in extreme cold weather goes a long way towards protecting you and your family from some common cold weather hazards.

Here are some simple tips to help you weather the big chill and keep your home and family warm and safe:
  • Keep the heat in: Close drapes and blinds to conserve heat. Blankets or cardboard can be hung over windows and doorways to minimize heat loss, and use towels as draft stoppers around windows and doors.

  • Space heater safety: Only use space heaters that are certified and meet the latest safety standards. Keep heaters at least three feet away from bedding, drapes, furniture, and other flammable materials, and only place heaters on hard, level, non-flammable surfaces like a ceramic tile floor. NEVER leave a space heater unattended, and NEVER leave a space heater on while you or others in your home are sleeping.

  • Carbon monoxide fumes can kill!: NEVER use barbeques, grills, camp stoves or gas/propane camp stoves inside for extra heat, and NEVER use your gas stove, gas oven, or other gas appliance for heat. Burning charcoal or propane or natural gas lets off deadly carbon monoxide (CO) fumes, and if burned inside your house or apartment, the fumes can build up to deadly levels in just minutes.

  • Pets get cold, too: Even with all that fur, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia just like humans. Cats and dogs should be kept inside during cold weather. If you can't bring your pet inside, be sure to provide good shelter with warm, dry bedding that's elevated off the ground to minimize heat loss. Be sure to have lots of fresh, unfrozen water for your pet. Because of the risk of burns or fire, avoid using space heater, heat lamps or heat pads in your pet's shelter.

  • Stay off icy roads if you can: Avoid driving in snowy or icy conditions. If you must drive, remember that anti-icing solution won't stop moisture in the air or on the ground from freezing on the surface once temperatures drop below the mid-20s. Keep an emergency kit in your car that includes bottled water and high energy, non-perishable food, an extra blanket, warm clothes, a battery-powered flashlight and extra batteries. You should also tell a friend or relative when you're leaving, your destination, and when you expect to arrive.

For updated information about Thurston County's emergency response and preparedness, go to www.co.thurston.wa.us/em. Stay connected with TCEM with social media—get Thurston County Emergency Management updates on Facebook, Twitter, and our RSS feed:
Facebook: ThurstonEM
Twitter: @ThurstonEM

For more information about the county's winter roads maintenance and how to contact the Public Works Department to report road hazards, go to www.co.thurston.wa.us/publicworks, and follow Thurston County Public Works on Twitter at @Thurston_PW.


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3