“The snow storm has ended, but winter has not,” Governor Hogan said. “Dangerous temperatures are forecast for Maryland over the next several days. Now is the time to prepare your home, your car and your pets.”
Make sure pipes, especially those on exterior walls, are insulated or keep a faucet on the lowest level of your home turned on a slow stream. Make sure pets have appropriate shelter free of frozen blankets. And make sure all of the fluids in your vehicles are full, have a car charger available, keep a blanket in your car and make sure family and friends know your expected time and route of travel in case you are in an accident or become disabled.
“Extreme cold can be deadly,” said Van Mitchell, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary. “Residents should be aware of the risks. Dress in warm layers. Check on elderly friends and neighbors, as they are especially at risk. Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home.”
Because of cold temperatures, sidewalks and some roadways may have patches of packed snow or ice, making falls a serious hazard. Residents, especially the elderly and those with limited mobility, should avoid walking on slippery surfaces.
“Help us help you,” said Maryland Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Clay Stamp. “If possible carry a cell phone with you at all times, even when just walking out to get the mail or newspaper in some neighborhoods or rural areas, your fall might not be discovered quickly, and frostbite, hypothermia and death could occur quickly in single-digit temperatures.”
Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature falls below 95ºF. Frostbite is the freezing and subsequent destruction of body tissue that is likely to occur any time skin temperature gets much below 32ºF. The areas most likely to freeze are toes, fingers, ears, cheeks and the tip of the nose.