Knox County update on storm preps from Mayor Burchett

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KNOX CO. Tenn, (WVLT)-- The forecast calls for temperatures to plummet to single digits.

Knox County Mayor, Tim Burchett is asking people to check on seniors and anyone who may not be able to easily care for themselves.

“Too many seniors are home-bound and have no one to care for them,” said Mayor Burchett. “With the extremely low temperatures expected this week, I hope neighbors, friends and relatives will take time to check on the elderly and others who may be home-bound and in need of help.”

In addition to the elderly, other at-risk populations include young children, anyone with an altered mental status or mental illness, those who remain outdoors for extended periods of time and pets.

Knox County Highway crews hit the roads Sunday with thousands of gallons of salt brine.

Crews will be working to spread brine across the county's seven highway maintenance districts.

Later Sunday and ahead of the forecasted snow, crews will begin spreading granulated road salt to help further prevent ice and snow accumulation on roadways maintained by Knox County.

Tips from the Knox County Health Department and the Knox County Fire Prevention Bureau:
• Check on elderly neighbors, friends and relatives – make sure they have adequate heating, food, clothing and necessary medications.
Quick Tips
• If using space heaters, make sure to follow the instructions properly and keep them away from any flammable materials.
• Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test all devices to ensure they are working properly.
• Never leave candles, fireplaces or other open flames unattended.
• Bring pets indoors, if possible. Otherwise, ensure adequate shelter and bedding to keep them dry and warm.
• Avoid going outdoors. However, if you must go outside, dress warmly in layers to limit exposure to the cold.
• Results from exposure to cool or cold temperatures and the loss of body heat faster than the body can warm
• Signs of hypothermia:
o Adults: shivering/exhaustion, confusion/fumbling hands, memory loss/slurred speech and drowsiness
o Infants: bright red, cold skin and very low energy
• Results from exposed skin becoming so cold it freezes
• Signs of frostbite:
o Early on - red painful skin
o Later - yellow or pale skin
o Skin feels waxy, firm and numb
• Can result in loss of the affected digit
• Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
• The most common symptoms are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.
• Alternative sources of fuel or electricity for heating, cooling or cooking can cause CO to build up in a home or garage and poison the people and animals inside.
• CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by small gasoline engines, stoves, generators, lanterns and gas ranges or by burning charcoal and wood.
If CO poisoning, frostbite or hypothermia are suspected, consult a health care professional right away.
• Never use a gas range or oven to heat a home.
CO Poisoning Prevention:
• Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
• Never run a motor vehicle, generator or any gasoline-powered engine outside an open window, door or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.
• Never run a generator or any gasoline-powered engine indoors, even if the doors or windows are open (including garage, basement or attic).
• Keep any portable/space heaters at least three feet from anything combustible, and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
Fire Prevention
• If using a fireplace to heat your home, be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions.
• Dispose of any fireplace ashes in a metal container with a lid that can be secured from the top. Store the container at least 10 feet from any structures, as ashes can maintain their heat for several days.
• Never leave a fire burning in a fireplace while you are sleeping.
• Never plug a generator into an outlet in your home, there is a danger of shock and electrocution.
• Be careful not to overload extension cords, doing so increases the risk of electrical fire.

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