FEMA gives safety tips for dealing with Christmas weekend’s severe weather

Here’s how you and your loved ones can stay safe in harsh conditions

As family members and friends are excited to visit loved ones on Christmas weekend, there is severe weather to be mindful of.

“The storm — extreme cold weather … it’s dangerous and threatening. … So I encourage everyone — everyone, please heed the local warnings,” President Joe Biden said.

To discuss further and give safety tips, FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell spoke to rolling out.

What should Americans expect with the extremely low temperatures this Christmas weekend?

We have this extreme weather system that’s going to move through the United States. It’s going to bring cold temperatures, it’s going to bring wind in a lot of parts in the country and it’s going to bring a lot of blizzard-like conditions.

It’s going to impact a good majority of the U.S. And in some places, I’ve never really seen this level of cold. So it worries me because we’re at a time when so many people are going to be traveling on the road or by air, and trying to go see family because they’re anxious and excited. They want to be with their family, but we need to take it seriously. This is a significant event. It’s not going to be like the massive snowfall we hear about — 4 or 5 feet of snow — but this cold is really dangerous, and it can be life-threatening. I just want to make sure people are aware of how dangerous it can be.

With COVID, many family members haven’t seen their loved ones in three years and this was their first opportunity. What is your message to those Americans?

Monitor the weather. If you’re driving, monitor the weather where you’re going. Don’t look at just the weather forecast for you, and don’t just look at the weather forecast for your final destination.

If you’re traveling [a great] distance, what is it [the weather] going to be in between? We’re going to see different weather patterns across the country, and we know that some people travel far to go see their families. If you can, time it so you’re not going to be at the peak of some of these really brutal conditions that are going to be out there.

If you are traveling, please go to things like ready.gov or listo.gov and get really helpful tips about the things that you should take with you in your car to make sure you’re protecting you and your family as you’re on this journey. So if you get stuck somewhere, you have the necessary supplies to help you out.

If you’re traveling by air, be patient. You’re gonna see some flight cancellations and delays. So patience is going to be key as you’re traveling by air across the country.

What are safety tips for people who are using space heaters?

Make sure you’re not overloading what your home or your apartment can handle as far as the electricity that’s being generated. Make sure you’re putting it in a safe place, so small children or pets can’t [bump] into it and tip it over or burn themselves. Make sure you’re not putting it near something that is flammable, A lot of people might put it near a window or a curtain, and they can catch on fire … a lot of times what we use if the power goes out are generators, or you’re going to use other types of heating sources to heat your home. We really want people to be cognizant of the types of hazards that come with that like carbon monoxide poisoning. Really use those tools as they’re meant to be used, and don’t put yourself into any other areas that have increased hazards for your life.

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