All should prepare for cold, power outage

Dec. 27, 2011 at 11:32 PM
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ATLANTA, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- With colder temperatures approaching, U.S. health officials suggest everyone prepare their homes in case of severe cold temperatures or power outages.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend:

-- Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns rather than candles, if possible.

-- Never leave lit candles unattended.

-- You may need fresh air coming in for your heater or for emergency cooking arrangements. However, if you don't need extra ventilation, keep as much heat as possible inside your home.

-- Avoid unnecessary opening of doors or windows. Close off unneeded rooms, stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors, and close draperies or cover windows with blankets at night.

-- Infants younger than age 1 should never sleep in a cold room because infants lose body heat more easily than adults and, unlike adults, infants can't make enough body heat by shivering. Provide warm clothing for infants and try to maintain a warm indoor temperature. If the temperature cannot be maintained, make temporary arrangements to stay elsewhere.

-- In an emergency, you can keep an infant warm using your own body heat. If you must sleep, take precautions to prevent rolling on the baby.

-- Older adults often make less body heat because of a slower metabolism and less physical activity. If you are age 65 and older check the temperature in your home often during severely cold weather.

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