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DHS Offers Winter Storm Tips: 'If You Must Shovel Snow, Stretch Before Going Outside.'

"Change wet clothing frequently..."

1:59 PM, Jan 23, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Earlier today, the Department of Homeland Security took to its Twitter account to offer "tips" on how to deal with the winter weather:

The tip sheet, produced by DHS, under Secretary Janet Napolitano, reads:

During Winter Storms and Extreme Cold

- Stay indoors during the storm.

- Walk carefully on snow, icy, walkways.

- Avoid overexterion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a hear attack--a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside.

- Keep dry. 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. These include 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. These include 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.

- Drive only if its absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don't travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.

- Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

- 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 55%.

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