BR mayor: 'Anyone who must drive is urged to use extreme caution'

BR mayor: 'Anyone who must drive is urged to use extreme caution'

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - East Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome held a news conference Friday afternoon to discuss the city-parish's preparations for the wintry weather conditions.

"Anyone who must drive is urged to use extreme caution," Broome said.

Mayor Broome is urging all area residents to be prepared. Temperatures and accompanying wind chills will impact the entire region as winter returns. We are asking our residents to take the necessary steps to ensure their safety. The Mayor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

(MOHSEP) offer the following precautionary tips:

Preparedness Tip #1: With these cold temperatures, wear a hat, gloves, scarf and layers of loose clothing. Do not stay outdoors for prolonged periods of time.

Preparedness Tip #2: Make sure all Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors have working batteries. Furnaces and other heating sources will be working extra hard and sometimes become faulty without warning.

Preparedness Tip #3: Use caution with portable generators. In the event of a power outage, never use a generator indoors or in enclosed spaces such as garages, crawl spaces or basements. Do not use a generator outdoors if placement near doors, windows, and vents could allow carbon monoxide to enter and build up in occupied spaces. Also, do not use gas stoves or ovens for heat. Never use charcoal, gas grills or camp stoves indoors.

Preparedness Tip #4: Pipes may freeze near non-insulated exterior walls or in other poorly insulated areas. Do not heat frozen pipes with a torch, as this results in many fires each year. An easy way to prevent water pipes from freezing is to allow faucets to drip or have a light stream of water running.

Preparedness Tip #5: Use caution when using space heaters, heating appliances, woodstoves and fire places. Make sure that blankets, curtains, towels and other combustibles are a safe distance away. Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects. Minimize overloading circuits or causing electrical shorts in outlets or power cords by not plugging in multiple electrical appliances.

Preparedness Tip #6: Never leave children or pets alone in a vehicle, running or not. Temperatures in vehicles can drop rapidly. Additionally, household pets should not be kept outside during the cold weather conditions for any extended period of time.

Preparedness Tip #7: Create an emergency supply kit. Keep enough supplies in your home to meet the needs of you and your family for at least three days. The basics to stock in your portable kit include: water, food, battery-powered radio and flashlight, extra batteries, first aid supplies, a change of clothing, blanket or sleeping bag, pliers, whistle, dust mask, maps, gas cans, a manual can opener and special items for infants, elderly, the sick or people with disabilities. Don't forget to include extra medicine, important documents such as insurance cards. Keep these items in an easy to carry container such as a large backpack or a duffle bag. Keep a three day supply of water per person, per day.

Preparedness Tip #8: A Unified Community, working together during an emergency makes sense. Don't forget to talk to your neighbors about how you can work together during an emergency and practice the "Buddy System" by checking on the elderly and any disabled neighbors.

"Our community faces many challenges as we recover from the floods of 2016. Many families throughout East Baton Rouge Parish continue to rebuild their homes lacking the resources they once relied upon. Fortunately, we have a little time to better prepare for the upcoming cold weather that may affect our state."

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