Old Man Winter Brings Cold Temps

Dress Warmly if Outside; Call if You See Someone at Risk of Hypothermia

Posted at 11 a.m.

We’re in the winter season and “Old Man Winter” has some chilly temperatures in store for us the next couple of days, including the chance of wintry precipitation. If you have to be outside the next couple days, be sure to bundle up and take measures to stay warm.

If you can, stay indoors where it’s warm. If you must go outside, dress in several layers of lightweight clothing, coat, mittens/gloves, hat and shoes/boots. And be sure to bring pets/companion animals inside.

In case of snow or other wintry precipitation, be careful on walkways and roads, which can be dangerous despite appearances.

If you see someone who looks like they may be at risk of suffering from hypothermia, we encourage you to call the police non-emergency number (703-691-2131). If directly addressing those who are homeless, call the Coordinated Services Planning (CSP) Hotline for coordinated help (703-222-0880) or have them go to the nearest shelter directly. When temperatures are below freezing, shelters in Fairfax County operate on a no-turnaway policy.

Signs of Hypothermia

The signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible.

Frozen Water Pipes

If a water pipe freezes, never try to thaw it with an open flame or torch. You can use a hair dryer or portable heater, but always be careful of the potential for electric shock in and around standing water. If you will be away from your home, keep the thermostat at a reasonable temperature to make sure all areas with water pipes are kept above freezing.

If you suspect you have a frozen water meter, call Fairfax Water for help. Service crews are available 24 hours a day and will respond as soon as possible. During business hours, call 703-698-5800, TTY 711. After hours, call 703-698-5613, TTY 711.

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4 responses to “Old Man Winter Brings Cold Temps”

  1. Anonymous says :

    “If you can, stay indoors where it’s warm. If you must go outside, dress in several layers of lightweight clothing, coat, mittens/gloves, hat and shoes/boots. And be sure to bring pets/companion animals inside.”

    That is very good advice, indeed!

    I suggest that future advice be written in standard English by using “and” or “or” in place of “/” to make the sentences more understandable. “Mittens or gloves,” not “mittens/gloves.” “Shoes or boots” instead of “shoes/boots.” “Pets and companion animals” in place of “pets/companion animals.”

    It’s a press release, not a tweet, I presume.

  2. Mary Kay Powers says :

    What is a reasonable temp to keep thermostat at??? You don’t give any clue except – reasonable?????????

  3. fairfaxcounty says :

    Hi Mary Kay. “Reasonable” temperatures vary from situation to situation, based on a number of factors, including where the pipes in your home are located, whether they are insulated, etc. Fairfax Water provides information online about winterizing plumbing and frozen pipes: http://www.fairfaxwater.org/customer/youplum.htm

  4. Robert Braxton says :

    appreciate these updates – especially the advice about high winds causing roads to freeze. In 1966 January my (now) spouse hit a patch of black ice, rolling a VW bug (Winston-Salem, NC).

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