Sheriff Encourages Precautions For Upcoming Frigid Weather
With weather experts predicting bitterly cold temperatures late this weekend and into early next week, Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves is encouraging residents to be prepared so they can help stay safe.
"While the exact location and weather conditions are subject to change, current National Weather Service discussions indicate high confidence in cold temperatures with data suggesting that the Sunday through Monday time period will be the coldest across the area with highs around 10° and low temperatures around zero. With likely moderate gusty winds, the wind chill could reach -20°," according to Sheriff Groves.
"When frigid temps like this hit our region, many will often rely on space heaters or other alternate heating sources to help supplement their primary residential heating method. Tragically, it's not uncommon for our area firefighters to respond to residential fires starting from space heaters. That makes this a good time to go over some general safety precautions when using a non-traditional heat source," continued Sheriff Groves.
Portable Heater Safety Tips
Do not leave the heater operating unattended or while sleeping
- Plug the heater directly into a wall outlet, not a surge protector, multi-outlet box or extension cord
- Always keep heater away from water
- Do not use an electric heater as a dryer by placing clothing over it
- Keep clothing and other flammables away from an electric heater
- Place the heater on a level, stable surface and away from children or pets who may inadvertently knock it over
General Frigid Weather Safety Tips
"In addition to being safe with regards to electric heaters, with frigid temperatures, some other general winter weather safety tips include:
- Limit the amount of time outside in the cold
- If you must be outside, properly layer clothing, including socks, gloves, appropriate shoes and hats
- Work slowly when doing outside chores
- Make sure tires on your vehicle are properly inflated
- Keep a bottle of water and blanket in your vehicle, should your vehicle stall or go into a ditch if road conditions are slick
- Keep plenty of fuel in your vehicle
- Always plan to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours, should there be winter power outages or if roads become impassable. Ensure you have adequate prescriptions, food and necessities.
"Finally, I'd encourage just being good neighbors by checking on one another. It's especially important to check on elderly family and friends to make sure they are keeping warm and safe," concluded Sheriff Groves.