Historically low temperatures are forecast this week and the Federal Emergency Management Agency wants individuals and families to be safe when faced with the hazards of severely cold weather.

“Subfreezing temperatures can be dangerous and even life-threatening for people who don't take the proper precautions,” said James K. Joseph, FEMA Region V Administrator. “It is important to take steps now to protect yourself and your family from the risks of extreme cold.”

  • Stay indoors as much as possible and limit your exposure to the cold
  • Dress in layers and keep dry
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who are at risk and may need assistance
  • Know the symptoms of cold-related health issues such as frostbite and hypothermia and seek medical attention if health conditions are severe
  • Plug only one heat-producing appliance (such as a space heater) into an electrical outlet at a time and turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. Never use an oven to heat your home
  • Bring your pets indoors or ensure they have a warm shelter area with unfrozen water
  • Make sure your vehicle has an emergency kit that includes an ice scraper, blanket and flashlight – and keep the fuel tank above half full.

You can always find valuable information to help you prepare for winter emergencies at www.ready.gov/winter or www.usfa.fema.gov. Bookmark FEMA’s mobile site http://m.fema.gov, or download the FEMA app today to have important readiness information just one click away.