Cold Can Kill: Walker County Emergency Management Urges Residents to Prepare Now for Dangerous Cold Temperatures

two people bundled up in coats, gloves and scarves talking outside

Cold can kill. Walker County will be under a WIND CHILL WARNING from late Thursday night (12/22) through noon Saturday (12/24). The National Weather Service predicts dangerously cold temperatures will impact northwest Georgia with wind chills as low as 10 below zero.

Now is the time to start preparing for the very cold temperatures. If you will be traveling by car during this time, keep your phone charged, pack extra clothes and blankets and bring extra food in case you become stranded. Start making preparations for livestock and bring your pets inside. Start winterizing faucets and pipes.

The cold wind chills could result in hypothermia if precautions are not taken. Wind chill stands for what the air temperature feels like on your skin due to the cold temperatures and wind. Follow these tips to stay warm:

  • Limit your time outdoors
  • Wear a hat and gloves / mittens
  • Dress in layers
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages
  • Use safe heating devices, preferably stationed in one room
  • Have a carbon monoxide alarm in place, especially if using alternative heating devices

Walker County Emergency Management advises residents to have a safe backup source for heat and enough food and water for two to three days, in case the power goes out. Safe heating sources include:

  • Kerosene
  • Propane
  • Natural gas / wood fireplace
  • Fuel powered portable generator kept outside at least 20-feet away from your home
  • Portable generator powered by batteries or solar power

Do NOT use combustion appliances during a power outage and other dangerous heating sources. This includes:

  • Gas stove or oven
  • Barbeque grill
  • Camp stove
  • Dryer
  • Running the heater on a vehicle inside an attached garage

Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Fatigue
  • Episodes of increased chest pain in people with chronic heart disease
  • Feeling like you have the flu or food poisoning

Additional things to consider during dangerously cold temperatures:

  • If you keep animals, make sure they have adequate shelter
  • Keep emergency supplies at home, work and in your vehicle
  • Protect your pipe from freezing
    • Remove water hoses and cover the spigots
    • Open cabinet doors in bathrooms so warm air can reach the pipes under your sink
    • Wrap pipes, if possible
    • Allow your faucets to run with a stream no larger than a pencil lead

Walker County is prepared to provide further assistance, if needed.

To assist homeowners who may lose power and stranded motorists, Georgia State Parks are opening warming stations for public use. These shelters have restrooms but no food or bedding. ParkPass fees will be waived for those using warming stations. To find a full list of warming stations and their availability, please click here. Cloudland Canyon in Rising Fawn is among the locations with a warming station.

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