Even though we’re so far south, New Orleans can see dangerous winter weather. Extreme cold, dense fog, and even ice & snow storms are possible during the winter months. Dangers from these weather conditions include unsafe roads, cold-related illness, fires, and power outages. When there’s a winter weather risk in New Orleans, the National Weather Service issues alerts. Sign up to receive emergency alerts at www.nola.gov.
Freeze Warning: Air temperature is expected to be 32 degrees F or lower for a significant amount of time.
Hard Freeze Warning: Air temperature is expected to be 25 degrees F or lower for long enough to freeze water pipes.
Dense Fog Advisory: Widespread or localized fog reduces visibility to 1/4 mile or less.
Winter Storm Warning: A mix of wintry precipitation (freezing rain or snow) is happening or is about to happen.
Ice Storm Warning: Heavy freezing rain is happening or is about to happen
Here are tips to keep you, your family and your pets safe during the cold days to come:
DURING EXTREME COLD
Stay inside in heat during extreme cold.
If you are homeless, seek shelter. During extreme cold, the citywide freeze plan will offer free shelter for homeless residents.
If you have to go outside, wear layers, a hat & gloves and carry a cell phone.
Check on neighbors, children, the elderly & chronically ill to make sure they are okay.
Bring pets inside.
Know the signs of cold-related illness. See a doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if you or someone you know has these symptoms:
SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA
Shivering or fumbling hands
Exhaustion or drowsiness
Confusion or memory loss
Bright red, cold skin or very low energy in infants
SIGNS OF FROSTBITE
Redness or pain in any skin area
White or grayish-yellow skin area
Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
PRACTICE FIRE SAFETY & PREPARE YOUR HOME
Never leave space heaters unattended.
Never use a stove or an oven to heat your home.
Check your smoke & carbon monoxide detectors to be sure they are working. Get free smoke detectors or batteries installed by the New Orleans Fire Department.
Have a fire extinguisher and know how to use it.
Protect your water pipes from damage. Trickle a very thin (spaghetti sized) stream of water in a faucet farthest from your water meter. Make sure to turn it off once the temperature raises up above 32 degrees.
Learn more winter preparedness tips by visiting http://ready.nola.gov/winter/