Exciting News on AlertNIH:
In 2014, Division of Emergency Preparedness and Coordination (DEPC) officials, along with representatives from NIH public safety, public affairs, human resources, and facilities worked together at enhancing AlertNIH - the official emergency communication service for the National Institutes of Health. Employees and visitors should anticipate seeing more AlertNIH messages in 2015. Also, AlertNIH has a social media presence on Twitter
. For more information on AlertNIH and how to register devices to receive alerts, please click here.
Cold Weather Tips for the Home:
As the winter weather draws near, it is important to winterize your home by ensuring walls and attics are insulated, doors and windows are caulked, storm windows installed, or windows covered with plastic. Learn how to shut off water valves in order to turn off exterior faucets to avoid freezing or in case of a pipe burst. Do not forget to winterize your vehicle by always maintaining, at minimum, a half tank of gasoline within. This prevents the fuel line from freezing in extremely cold conditions. Also, do not forget to include an emergency kit within the trunk of the car.
During cold weather, do not go outside if possible, but remain inside and stay dry. If you must go outside, cover your mouth, keep dry, and avoid overexerting yourself. Cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart. The strain combined with the overexertion may cause a heart attack. Also, sweating could lead to a chill and hypothermia. Watch for signs of frostbite that include the loss of feeling and white or pale extremities. Drive only if absolutely necessary. Avoid traveling alone and let someone know your travel plans including your primary and alternate routes. If something goes wrong while in your vehicle, stay inside. Run the motor about ten minutes each hour for heat. Open the window a little for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked with snow or other obstacles. Exercise from time to time by vigorously moving arms, legs, fingers, and toes to keep blood circulating and to keep warm. Check on neighbors or anyone who may need assistance. When preparing to go outside, dress warmly and always wear a hat. If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice about shoveling snow or performing other hard work in the cold. If you have to do heavy outdoor chores, work slowly. Your body is already working hard just to stay warm, so do not overexert yourself.