It was 18 degrees in Lancaster on Thursday, Feb. 16, breaking the record low of 21 for the day set in 2006. A frost advisory is in effect for parts of Los Angeles County Friday until 8 a.m.
Castaic, Newhall, Santa Clarita and Valencia can expect temperatures as low as 32 and temperatures in isolated areas are expected to drop to 30. Frost can damage sensitive plants and harm pets if left unprotected, according to the NWS.
Children, the elderly, and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during cold weather, and extra precautions should be taken to ensure they don’t get too cold when they are outside. Residents are urged to frequently check on and help family members, friends, and neighbors with limited mobility and limited access to heat, such as seniors and those who are ill, and to avoid leaving pets outdoors overnight.
People exposed to cold weather for prolonged periods can lose body heat and develop hypothermia, LA County health officials warn. Symptoms vary depending on the length of time exposed to cold temperatures. Early symptoms of hypothermia include: shivering, fatigue, loss of coordination, and confusion and disorientation. Late symptoms of hypothermia include: no shivering, blue skin, dilated pupils, slowed pulse and breathing, and loss of consciousness.
Officials also recommend the following tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning when heating the home:
- Only use approved heaters, such as electric or natural gas heaters and fireplaces.
- Never use stoves, barbecues and ovens to heat your room or home, as these appliances can produce deadly carbon monoxide gas that can collect inside your home.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home to reduce the risk of poisoning.
- 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.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause 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.
Local residents and business owners, including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, may call 2-1-1 or visit www.211la.org for emergency preparedness information and other referral services, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Deaf and hard of hearing residents should call the TDD line at 1-800-660-4026.