Attorney General Hunter’s consumer and utility units develop tips to keep Oklahomans safe
OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter is imploring Oklahomans to take precaution and prepare for temperatures in the low teens and single digits over the weekend and into next week.
According to local weather reports, arctic air is expected to move into the state overnight and keep temperatures below freezing and approaching record – cold levels at times across the state. On Monday, with wind chills, temperatures could reach minus 10 degrees.
Attorney General Hunter said the Consumer Protection and Utility Regulation Units have developed tips and guidelines to help Oklahomans brace for the bone chilling cold weather and keep them safe.
“I am urging Oklahomans to be proactive and prepare their homes and families for dangerously low temperatures that are expected across the state,” Attorney General Hunter said. “When temperatures are as low as they are expected to be, it can cause a litany of problems for friends, neighbors, homes and even our pets. By planning ahead and preparing, lives can be saved and utility bills can be kept under control.”
- Check on elderly family members and neighbors. Ensure they have enough food, blankets and their heating units are functioning properly;
- Bring pets indoors. Even animals bred for colder climates should not be left outside for long periods of time in freezing temperatures;
- Let faucets drip. Water inside the faucet can freeze and could cause the pipes to crack. By allowing the faucet to drip, it will prevent freezing;
- Keep garage doors closed as much as possible. Open garage doors will allow cold air inside the house and leave hot water heaters and plumbing exposed;
- Stay indoors. Plan ahead and get necessities ahead of time to avoid the elements.
Additionally, the Consumer Protection Unit recommends if an individual is in a situation where they need emergency services or repairs on their home or car to check the identification of anyone entering their home or seeking personal information.
- Use a programmable thermostat. Set the temperatures lower when leaving the residence for an extended period of time to use less energy when no one is around;
- Learn how to shut off water valves coming into the house. If pipes freeze then burst inside the house, flooding will occur. Also, keep the city’s water department’s emergency number in a convenient location in case of emergency;
- Seal off unused rooms. Closing the floor or wall air vents and keeping doors closed will divert air to other rooms that are occupied;
- Use caution when using an alternative heating source. Supplemental heating sources can cause fires. Un-serviced fireplaces and improperly installed kerosene, gas or electric heaters can also be fire hazards. Contact a professional and install a carbon monoxide detector before using any of these heating sources;
- Use all generators outdoors. Never use an electric or gas generator indoors or in the garage because of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The best tip is to prepare homes and residences well ahead of the winter months and educate family members and loved ones on how to handle an emergency situation.