With Cold Temp’s Remember the 4 P’s: People, Pets, Plants, and Pipes

In anticipation of the cold air mass moving in to our area Sunday bringing colder temperatures and wind chills in the teens, Elmore County EMA would like to remind our citizens of the 4 P’s:  People, Pets, Plants, and Pipes.

  • People – should dress warmly, in layers, to avoid hypothermia (abnormally low body temperature).
  • Pets – should be brought indoors or provided with a warm place to sleep.
  • Pipes – that run outside or under a house should be wrapped in pipe insulation to avoid cracks due to water freezing in them.
  • Plants – may need to be covered or brought inside to avoid frost damage.

Health Hazards

Did you know that prolonged exposure to the cold can become life-threatening? Frostbite and hypothermia are both serious health conditions, and hypothermia can be fatal.

Frostbite – damage to body tissue caused by extreme cold. A wind chill of -20°F will cause frostbite in 30 minutes or less!

  • Signs: A loss of feeling and a white/pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, or the tip of the nose.
  • Action: Get medical help immediately! If you must wait for help, slowly rewarm affected areas. However, if the person is also showing signs of hypothermia, warm the body core before the extremities.

Hypothermia – An abnormally low body temperature (<95°F). It can kill!

  • Signs: Uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.
  • Action: Seek medical help immediately if the person’s body temperature is below 95°F! If medical care is not available, warm the person slowly, starting with the body core.

Safety & Preparedness

Although it may not happen frequently, Central Alabama does see significant impacts from winter weather. NOW is the time to prepare and finalize your winter preparedness plans. Make sure your NOAA Weather Radio has fresh batteries in it. Make sure you have a means of receiving winter weather information, and be prepared in case you have no way to travel. Injuries and deaths due to winter weather can be prevented through proper winter safety measures

The following graphics cover important safety and preparedness information, whether you are at home or traveling.