TEMA reports 27 deaths in TN related to weather; American Red Cross encourages everyone to prepare for second round
The death toll is rising across Tennessee from the weather. There have been at least 2 cases with a possible third confirmed by TEMA in our region alone. Out of the 27 deaths, nine were caused by hypothermia. The American Red Cross is encouraging everyone to take proper precautions to stay warm.
Hypothermia can set in within minutes once your temperature starts to drop. It hinders the circulation of blood and can lead to death.
If you think staying indoors will protect you, you could be wrong. If you're power goes out, you're in danger inside your home too.
"Just because you're in your home, does not mean you cannot suffer from hypothermia. If you're experiencing a loss of heat source then it doesn't take long for your body temperature to lower to an unsafe level," said Julia Wright, Executive Director of the American Red Cross.
While a few blankets will keep you warm for a while. “Have a backup plan if you have a situation where you have a prolonged loss of electricity," said Wright.
Like an alternate place to stay or portable heaters that can keep you and your family warm.
If hypothermia does set in before you can get to safety, Julie Wright says call 9-1-1 and do whatever you can to stay warm.
"Get their body temperature up slowly by covering them in blankets or any type of warmth you can give them," said Wright.
If someone has hypothermia they may shiver, be pale and cold to the touch; they may also be disoriented and too cold to shiver.
You can download several different apps from the American Red Cross onto your smart phone that give you tips on how to be safe in winter weather and where local shelters are opened.