Frigid cold conditions are expected to sweep into Beaufort County this weekend.
The storm system is expected to bring cold rain and possible snow flurries. AAA Carolinas recommends avoiding travel unless necessary and having an emergency kit for the car — including an ice scraper, cellphone and charger, jumper cables, extra food, and water and warm clothes in case you become stranded.
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At home, tree branches should be trimmed away from power lines, the temperature inside should be kept to at least 65 degrees and faucets may be left on to drip slowly and avoid freezing pipes.
While residents scramble to stay warm, there are several important safety considerations.
Adapted from suggestions from Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Chief Reece Bertholf and the Red Cross, here are seven things not to do when coping with the cold weather.
▪ Heat your house with anything other than standard means: Don’t use the stove or oven to generate heat. Have a qualified HVAC professional inspect furnaces and heat pumps.
▪ Fuel a hot kerosene heater: Fuel a cold kerosene heater outside in a well-ventilated area. Remove all combustible materials as far away as possible from any style of heater. Use heaters only as directed by the manufacturer.
▪ Misuse electric heaters: Never run an extension cord to an electric space heater. Don’t overload one circuit with more than one heater. Make sure heaters are clear from anything that could catch fire.
▪ Ignore carbon monoxide: If you heat with wood, kerosene or gas, make sure carbon monoxide detectors are installed and working. Ensure fireplaces are working and maintained and that the chimney is serviced regularly.
▪ Use candles during a power outage: Keep batteries in flashlights in case of a power outage. Flashlights and lanterns are safer.
▪ Stay in wet clothes: Warm the core body temperature with a blanket or warm fluids like hot cider or soup. Avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol if you expect you or someone you are trying to help has hypothermia or frostbite. Confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering are signs of hypothermia.
▪ Remain outside in the elements if you have no place to stay: Sea Island Presbyterian, at 81 Lady’s Island Drive, will offer a warming shelter Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 8 p.m. until 7 a.m. Beds are available, and meals will be served.