Severe Cold Weather Prompts Health Department Warning: "Stay Home If You Can"

Jan 28, 2019

Tips for the deep freeze
Credit Kent County

Dangerous and slippery road conditions and frigid temps are two of the reasons the Kent County Health Department says “stay home if you can”. 

WGVU is passing on some tips from the Health Department during this frigid weather cycle.

“The advice you hear from the Health Department is similar to what you’ll hear from most in West Michigan and that is, if you can stay home, stay home.”

Steve Kelso is the Marketing and Communications Manager at the Kent County Health Department.  He emphasizes the importance of staying home off the icy roads if possible—in hopes of keeping yourself and others safe.  

“That’s our danger today. Now as we look at the forecast ahead, we’re into a stretch looking at temperatures that are cold and dangerously cold wind chills that really are potentially fatal with limited exposure.  So, it’s going to be very important in coming days, stay indoors as much as you can. Keep your pets inside, we take a lot of calls at the Kent County Animal Shelter.”

Kelso adds, now’s the time to check on any senior neighbors or others that may need a helping hand.

“Maybe folks who aren’t getting around as well, shut ins. Really any neighbor.  Give your neighbors a call, sometimes just the contact can be a potential lifesaver. So we’re asking folks to look out for one another in this type of thing.”

The more typical advice from the Health Department recommends keeping a few extra items in your car, such as flashlights, blankets, maybe even some snacks in case you get stranded in these frigid temperatures.  But something many people perhaps don’t think about is carbon monoxide poisoning. For instance if you’re stuck on the side of the road and are waiting for help.

“Make sure that you get out of that car and sweep away snow from that exhaust pipe.  Because if that exhaust gas starts backing up into your car, you can bet setting yourself up into a carbon monoxide trap.”

Kelso adds you also should ch55eck your PVC pipes outside your home for high efficiency furnaces and make sure they’re clear as well.

If you need more information or tips on staying safe during West Michigan’s deep freeze, you can go to the Kent County Health Department’s Facebook page, for continuous updates throughout the day.