Living without heat or being outdoors in the cold weather for prolonged times can be dangerous. Protect yourself and help others who may be at increased risk of health problems from the cold. Homeless persons not in shelters, people working outdoors, and those in homes or apartments with malfunctioning or inadequate heat are most likely to be exposed to dangerous cold. Seniors, infants, people with chronic cardiovascular or lung conditions, people using alcohol or drugs and people with cognitive impairments such as from dementia, serious mental illness or developmental disability are at increased risk.
The Department of Health recommends that you:
- Avoid driving during times of heavy snowfall and blowing snow conditions.
- Stay indoors as much as possible.
- Report any loss of heat or hot water to property managers immediately, and call 311.
- If your home lacks heat, get to a warm place tonight if you can and wear extra layers of dry, loose-fitting clothing, hats and gloves to help stay warm.
- Never use a gas stove to heat your home.
- Never use a kerosene or propane space heater, charcoal grill, or generator indoors or near the home.
- If a carbon monoxide detector goes off in your home, call 911, quickly open a nearby window, and go outside for fresh air immediately.
- When outdoors, wear warm clothing and cover exposed skin. Use multiple layers to maintain warmth.
- Seniors should take extra care outdoors to avoid slips and falls from icy conditions.
- Check on neighbors, friends, relatives and clients (if you are a service provider)
- If you need a prescription filled, do so before temperatures drop.