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February 12, 2014

TIPS: How to weather the cold, power outages, driving safety

MILLEDGEVILLE — Crews representing Georgia Power and Tri-County EMC continue working to restore power in affected areas. 

An ice storm warning remains in effect until 1 p.m. Thursday for Baldwin County and central Georgia.

Here are a few tips from the American Red Cross on weathering the cold: 

• Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat.

• Someone should seek medical attention immediately if they have symptoms of hypothermia, including confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering.

• Watch for symptoms of frostbite, including numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.

• Be careful when shoveling snow and ice. Cold weather puts extra strain on your heart. Consider your physical condition, the weather and the nature of the task.

• Check on your neighbors, especially elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.

• Don’t forget family pets — bring them indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.

• Avoid frozen pipes — run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent them from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.

• Download the Red Cross First Aid App for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is urging drivers to avoid traveling until at least Thursday afternoon as snow and freezing rain continues falling in the region.

GDOT spokeswoman Karlene Barron said in a statement Wednesday that road conditions are expected to worsen overnight, and drivers are urged to avoid traveling unless it’s an emergency. Transportation officials say wind gusts of up to 30 mph are also expected to cause downed trees and power lines in some areas.

GDOT officials say their primary concern is clearing snow and ice from the interstate highway system and other heavily used federal and state thoroughfares so they’re passable for first responders and emergency travel.

Drivers are asked to check www.511ga.org for real-time information on road conditions.

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