MEMA Urges Preparation for Freezing Forecast

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency says residents should prepare for bitterly cold temperatures this week.

It says snow, freezing rain and rain are in the forecast for Wednesday night through Thursday.

Low temperatures will likely reach the teens, with some areas potentially dipping down to the single digits while highs will only rise into the 20s in a large portion of the state through Sunday.

“We could see the coldest temperatures in 30 years this week,” said MEMA executive director Mike Womack. “This is one of those emergencies we can see coming and people should prepare themselves.”

MEMA offered the following tips for people to protect themselves from freezing temperatures:

Wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.

Wear mittens, they are warmer than gloves.

Wear a hat, body heat is lost through your head.

Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees.

Bring pets inside.

Watch for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.

To protect your home:

Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.

Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.

Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Also keep cabinet doors open to allow heat to reach pipes.

Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).

If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).

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