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Hughes urges safety during severe winter weather

Post Date:01/18/2019 3:55 PM
TRENTON — Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes is reminding residents to take precautions against extreme cold expected to grip the region on Monday, Jan. 21, following a weekend of mixed precipitation that could include heavy rain, snow and sleet. The forecast calls for daytime temperatures to peak in the mid-teens on Monday, with dangerous wind chills Sunday night through Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

“Extremely cold temperatures are a danger to people and pets,” Mr. Hughes said. “Please take the necessary steps to stay warm and to check up on friends and loved ones who may be more sensitive to the bitter cold.”

For emergencies related to the cold weather, Mercer County residents should call 911 immediately. Mr. Hughes said people should check on children, elderly neighbors, family members, or any potentially at-risk individuals often to make certain they have functioning heating systems in their homes and cars. Also, it is crucial that anyone going outside, even for a brief time, dress warmly in layers, he said.

Mercer County also designates certain locations as warming sites, where people can escape the cold. Although Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and many county facilities will be closed, the Lawrence, Ewing, Hickory Corner and West Windsor branches of the Mercer County Library System will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and all residents are welcome to use these sites.

Additionally, residents should adhere to the following advice from the state Department of Health:

• Dress in layers while outdoors, including a hat and gloves. If you get wet from heavy sweating, rain or snow, change into dry clothes as soon as possible.
• Eat well and drink plenty of fluids. Avoid drinking alcohol because it can accelerate loss of body heat.
• Many cold-weather injuries are the result of falls from icy surfaces. If possible, use rock salt or chemical de-icer to keep sidewalks, walkways, and porches free of ice.
• Stock your car with emergency gear, including: a cell phone; jumper cables; flashlight; blanket; sand for extra traction; ice scraper and a small shovel; and flares or other warning devices. For longer trips in a vehicle, pack extra food and water, blankets, and any required medications.

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