Winter weather tips from Williamston Police Department

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Captian Kevin Marsee of the Williamston Police Department has these tips for dealing with the winter weather expected in the area-

 “We are expecting a winter storm as early as late tonight continuing into Tuesday, Marsee said. “The Wiliamston Police Department is reminding motorists that winter driving can be hazardous, especially in regions of our area that may receive significant ice or snowfall. Wet weather, when compounded with cold temperatures and ice or snow, can make driving difficult.”

Shelters are available throughout the area. Also maintain contact with family members that may be ambulatory or relying on electricity for medical equipment.

Hillcrest Baptist Church, 1300 Anderson Drive in Williamston will be open as a shelter for anyone in need of a warm place to stay and/or a hot meal during the winter weather situation this week. The Hillcrest Baptist Church Shelter will be open Monday through Saturday night from 5 pm -9 am.

Stay indoors during the storm

Make sure you stock up on needed items such as water and food in advance

Make sure you have adequate medications on hand

Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways

Avoid overexertion, overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter

Keep dry, and change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat (wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly)

Watch for signs of frostbite: loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately

Watch for signs of hypothermia: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible

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)

Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes

Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects

Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms

If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55 °F

“Motorists can reach their destination safely this winter by making sure their vehicle is in good mechanical condition, always driving defensively, and obeying South Carolina occupant restraint laws”

Drivers are reminded to follow these tips for a safe winter:

Always keep the gas tank topped off. Gas tanks should always be topped off; never going below a half a tank.

Dress for the weather, not your destination. Business attire may be appropriate for the office but not best suited for unexpected winter weather emergencies.

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary. If you do have to make the trip, ensure someone is aware of your route of travel.

In case there are weather delays, carry a cellular phone for notifying those expecting your arrival or in case of emergencies.

Always buckle-up. Your seat belt can be the best protection against drivers who are tense or distracted due to the weather conditions.