Stay Safe And Healthy During Winter Weather
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NASHVILLE – The entire state of Tennessee is under a winter storm watch with a mix of freezing rain, snow and sleet predicted for much of the state in the coming days. The Department of Health is reminding Tennesseans to take precautions to stay safe during wintry weather, particularly if they venture out on the roads.

“Cold weather combined with wintry precipitation can lead to injury, and driving on slick roads can be particularly dangerous,” said Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN. “We remind all Tennesseans to use common sense and take precautions if they have to go out on icy or snowy roads, and to prepare now for the event that they may be stuck at home for a few days.”

The mixed precipitation expected from this winter storm can create treacherous conditions for driving. Tennesseans are urged to avoid driving on slick roads if at all possible. If you must drive, use extreme caution and try to use streets that have been treated with salt or brine to remove ice. Make sure you have plenty of fuel in your vehicle, and that tires are properly inflated. Drivers should also be prepared with emergency supplies in their vehicles, including blankets, water, windshield scraper and first aid kit. The Department of Transportation has more tips for safe winter driving online at www.tdot.state.tn.us/mediaroom/snowbuster.htm.

Walking on ice is also extremely dangerous. Many cold weather injuries result from falls on ice-covered sidewalks, steps, driveways and porches. Keep your steps and walkways as free of ice as possible by using rock salt or another chemical deicing compound. Sand may also be used on walkways to reduce the risk of slipping.

Safety measures should also be taken when heating your home. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for all space heaters, and be sure smoke detectors are present and working. If using a fireplace, make sure the flue is open and ventilating properly. Teach children to stay away from fireplaces, space heaters and any other open heat sources such as wall heating units, and keep any cords out of the way to prevent tripping.

The State of Tennessee has many resources available to help keep you safe and healthy during winter weather. Get more information at www.tn.gov. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offers tips on winter health and safety at
www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/pdf/cold_guide.pdf.
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