Florida Health in Collier County urges safety during winter weather

The Florida Department of Health in Collier County urges Florida residents to take precautions to stay healthy and safe during extreme cold weather. With wind chill advisories forecasted for many parts of our area, it is important to take extra precautions.

“The time is now to prepare for the cold weather. Check on your family and neighbors especially the elderly.” said the health officer Stephanie Vick. “Keep pets indoors, and be sure to dress children in layers and appropriate winter clothing.”
The Red Cross will operate two warming centers Thursday, from 9 p.m. until 9 a.m. For information on the warming center, call (239) 252-4180.

• Golden Gate Community Center, 4701 Golden Gate Pkwy., Naples
• Immokalee Sports Complex, 505 Escambia St., Immokalee

No food services will be provided. Those who plan to use a warming center should take their own bedding, food, medications, toiletries, water, and anything else they need to be comfortable. For information on the warming centers, call (239) 252-4180.

Winter safety tips:

• Stay indoors as much as possible to keep healthy, safe and warm. Make sure to check on friends and family members and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill.

• For outside activities, dress in multiple layers of loose-fitting clothing. Don’t forget to wear a hat, scarf and mittens, or other winter gear.

• Heat your home safely. If you plan to use a wood stove, fireplace, or space heater, be extremely careful. Make sure each appliance is properly adjusted and you have followed the manufacturer’s instructions and local building codes for use.

• Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning by never using generators, charcoal grills or gas grills indoors and by installing a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas.

• Eat well-balanced meals to stay warmer. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages—they cause your body to lose heat more rapidly. Instead, drink warm beverages such as hot chocolate or hot tea to help maintain your body temperature. If you have any dietary restrictions, consult your doctor.

• Bring pets out of the cold weather and provide them warm shelter.

• Protect Plants: Bring potted plants indoors. Keep outdoor plants and trees watered.

• Protect Against Fires in the Home: Take the time to prepare and inspect heating equipment before using. According to the National Fire Protection Association, incorrect use of heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires.

• Cold weather can displace wild animals. Stay clear of wild or feral animals including cats, bats or raccoons especially if they look sick or appear injured. They could have rabies and hurt animals can also injure you.

For more information on winter weather safety, visit www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/index.html.

About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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