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Stay Safe and Healthy This Winter

Winter is here.

Winter temperatures can be dangerous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead. The following are recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and City of West Plains Emergency Management Director Stephen Monticelli:

Prepare Your Home

• Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.

• Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.

• Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.

• Check your heating systems.

• Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.

• Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure it is clean, working properly, and ventilated to the outside.

• Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly and replace them twice a year.

• Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.

• Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies. Install a CO detector to alert you to the presence of this deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check the batteries when you change your clocks in the fall and spring.

• Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

Prepare Your Car

• Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level; check tire tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires.

• Keep gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.

• Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.

• Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. The kit should include: blankets, food and water, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction), compass and maps, flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries, first-aid kit, and plastic bags.

Take these simple preparations now so you may enjoy a safe and healthy winter season.

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