First rain in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Monday felt like June, but Wednesday will seem more like January. Magen David Adom has called on the public to prepare for cold winter weather in the second half of this week by ensuring that the elderly (especially those who live alone), infants and others are properly heated and protected.
MDA said it is already prepared to respond to emergencies in which people are hurt as a result of the colder weather. Medical teams in the field have been instructed to provide rapid, professional and full emergency medicine services to anyone in need, the organization said.
MDA asked the public to remain cautious to avoid accidents and injuries caused by the cold, rain and strong winds. Make sure people are protected against such frigid, wet weather. For any medical emergency call MDA at the 101 emergency line.
Patients who use respiratory machines at home should have backup batteries on hand in case of a power shortage. Fasten outdoor objects around the home that may blow in the wind. Beware when opening and closing windows as they may slam due to the strong wind.
Carbon monoxide poisoning from the use of kerosene stoves or coal-based heating devices can be lethal. Symptoms of poisoning from the colorless, odorless and tasteless gas include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness and a general bad feeling. In severe cases, the victim may lose consciousness. Call an ambulance in such an emergency.
Because carbon monoxide poisoning isn’t noticeable prior to the appearance of symptoms, always ventilate rooms and ensure there is proper air circulation while using heating devices.
Keep heaters away from flammable objects and never leave clothes to dry over such devices. Keep young children away from electric sockets and keep electric devices a safe distance from water (especially in the kitchen and bath). When possible, turn off unsupervised electric devices, especially before going to sleep.
Make sure to appropriately dress the elderly, babies and the disabled, using light clothing that allows movement but creates heat. Cover them with a light blanket and make sure the room is at 24 degrees Celsius (75 Fahrenheit). Do not cover babies with many layers of clothing or a heavy blanket as that may cause asphyxiation.
On especially rainy days, roads are slippery and drivers face a risk of their cars sliding, even when driving slowly. Dry the moisture that accumulates on the windshield and may block the driver’s view; use the defroster and fan constantly. Drivers must drive with the lights on, even during the day. Avoid pulling over at the side of the road except at designated areas.
Pay special attention to pedestrians and to children near schools, giving them the right of way. Don’t drive into puddles even if they do not seem deep, as they may cause the car to hydroplane and make the driver lose control of the vehicle. Do not remain in an idling car for an extended period of time, in order to avoid falling asleep and suffering from hypothermia, low body temperature.
If a person becomes hypothermic, change any wet clothes they are wearing and warm up the victim. Signs of hypothermia include cold limbs, pain and numbness. Warm the cold limbs using warm, not hot, water, and do not massage the affected areas.