Bitter arctic air is headed south to put most of the country in a deep chill through the end of the week and the American Red Cross is ready to respond, if needed, and is also encouraging people to stay safe during the deep freeze.
"Our volunteers have been put on stand-by across the Region and we are ready to respond to any significant, unforeseen emergency incident that displaces individuals from their normal place of dwelling," said Laura Vaughn, Mid-South Chapter Executive. "We would strongly encourage those that may be affected by this ice storm to stay indoors and avoid driving on roads once the storm hits, as motorists can become stranded in vehicles and walking and driving conditions can become hazardous."
The American Red Cross has eleven ways people can stay safe during the deep freeze.
COLD SAFETY TIPS
1. Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.
2. Bring pets indoors. If they can't come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
3. Protect your pipes - run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
4. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.
5. If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
6. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
7. If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
8. Use generators correctly – never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
9. Don't hook a generator up to the home's wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.
10. Download the American Red Cross First Aid App for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores. See all Red Cross apps at redcross.org/mobileapps.
11. Be prepared for power outages, should severe weather affect the area, by visiting http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/power-outage.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.