Cold Weather Alert to take effect in L.A. County Friday

Local news
A woman clutches her coat close as she bundles up in colder than usual weather in the Los Angeles area amid frigid temperatures in an undated photo. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A woman clutches her coat close as she bundles up in colder than usual weather in the Los Angeles area amid frigid temperatures in an undated photo. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A Cold Weather Alert will be in effect in Los Angeles County starting Friday as low temperatures overtake the typically warm region.

Rain moved into the area Thursday as the second of three storms arrived, bringing cold temperatures that are forecasted to continue through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. The storm will bring around a quarter of an inch of rain to most areas, and snowfall is likely to be seen mainly above 5,000 feet, according to the agency.

The Los Angeles County Health Officer issued the Cold Weather Alert as wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Affected areas include:

  • Santa Clarita Valley – Friday, December 10, through Sunday, December 12
  • Antelope Valley – Friday, December 10, through Sunday, December 12
  • Los Angeles City Mountains – Friday, December 10, through Saturday, December 11
  • East San Fernando Valley – Saturday, December 11 through Sunday, December 12

“Children, the elderly, and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during cold weather,” said Dr. Muntu Davis, health officer for L.A. County. “Extra precaution should be taken to ensure they don’t get too cold when they are outside.”

Precautions to protect yourself from the cold include:

  • Dress in layers of warm clothing if you plan to be outdoors
  • Protect head, hands and feet from the cold by wearing a hat, scarf, gloves, and socks
  • Check on and help family members, friends and neighbors with limited mobility and limited access to heat, such as seniors or those who are ill
  • If you have pets, bring them indoors and do not leave them outside overnight
  • Take shelter during peak cold times

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has a Winter Shelter Program available for those who need shelter. For location and transportation information, visit www.lahsa.org or call the county’s Information line at 2-1-1.

People exposed to cold weather for prolonged periods can lose body heat and develop hypothermia, the health officer news release states. Symptoms vary depending on how long you are exposed to cold temperatures. Early symptoms of hypothermia include: shivering, fatigue, loss of coordination, and confusion and disorientation. Late symptoms of hypothermia include: no shivering, blue skin, dilated pupils, slowed pulse and breathing, and loss of consciousness.

People exposed to extremely cold weather conditions, such as places where it snows and where freezing occurs, may be at risk of frostbite. Frostbite is a bodily injury caused by freezing that results in loss of feeling and color in affected areas. The most common affected areas are the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes.

Gently warm the person and seek immediate medical care if you believe someone is showing signs of hypothermia or frostbite.

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning when heating your home by:

  • Only use approved heaters, such as electric or natural gas heaters and fireplaces. Never use stoves, barbecues and ovens to heat your room or home, as these appliances can produce a deadly gas known as carbon monoxide that can collect inside your home.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home to reduce the risk of poisoning
  • If you use an outdoor generator at home, place it at least 10 feet away from all doors and windows to avoid exhaust gases entering the home.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause shortness of breath, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and nausea. Exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide could lead to death within minutes. Those suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning should be taken outside, into fresh air, immediately, and should be taken to an emergency room for immediate medical treatment.

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