The County Health Office has issued a Cold Weather Alert for the Antelope Valley through Saturday, Dec. 7, due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures. Minimum temperatures of 12 to 22 degrees are expected Thursday morning and Friday morning in Lancaster and Palmdale, and wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit in the Antelope Valley through Saturday. The National Weather Service advisory calls for six to eight-hour durations of sub-freezing temperatures in the Antelope Valley for each day of the advisory period.
“We also want to remind people not to use stoves, barbeques or ovens to heat their homes due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning,” stated Jonathan E. Fielding, Director of Public Health. “There are places where people can go to stay warm, such as shelters or other public facilities. Children, the elderly, and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during such cold snaps; care should be taken to ensure they don’t get too cold when they are outside.”
A Winter Shelter Program is available for seniors and those looking for a place to stay warm. Locations and transportation information can be found on the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s website at: http://www.lahsa.org/winter_shelter_program.asp, or by calling the LA County Information line at 2-1-1 from any landline or cell phone.
Take precautions to protect yourself
- Dress in layers of warm clothing if you plan to be outdoors.
- Protect extremities from the cold by wearing a hat, scarf, gloves, and socks.
- Offer to help those in your neighborhood with limited access to heat, such as seniors or those who are ill. Check on them frequently.
- During peak cold times, if you don’t have a heater in your home, visit indoor public facilities such as shopping malls, libraries or senior centers.
- If you use an outdoor generator at home, place it at least 10 feet away from all doors and windows to avoid exhaust gases entering the home.
- Stoves, barbeques and ovens can produce a deadly gas known as carbon monoxide when used to heat a home. Never use these appliances in place of approved heaters such as electric, natural gas, or fireplaces.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home to reduce the risk of poisoning. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include shortness of breath, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and nausea. Exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide could lead to death within minutes. Those suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning should be taken outside, into fresh air, immediately, and should be taken to an emergency room for immediate medical treatment.
Warning: Bring pets indoor!
With freezing temperatures predicted for the Antelope Valley, the County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) is warning residents not to leave their pets outside overnight.
The freeze warning takes effect at 9 p.m. this evening (Dec. 4) and remains in effect until 10 p.m. Friday evening (Dec. 6), county officials said.
“While our pets do have some protection against dropping temperatures with their coats, they are vulnerable in overly cold weather like we are,” stated DACC Director Marcia Mayeda.
DACC communications centers are staffed at all hours to help animals in need, officials said.
(Information via press release from the County Health Office and DACC.)