Officials are encouraging Antelope Valley residents to prepare for cold weather this weekend.
Temperatures in the Antelope Valley are expected to drop into the mid-30s on Sunday night, according to the National Weather Service.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued an alert for cold weather, as wind chill temperatures are expected to drop below freezing.
“Children, the elderly, and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during cold weather. Extra precaution should be taken to ensure they don’t get too cold when they are outside,” said Dr. Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County health officer, in a press release.
People experiencing homelessness are also at risk, with 28 people in L.A. County dying from hypothermia and other underlying conditions since 2016, according to L.A. Taco.
To avoid the harmful effects of cold weather, such as hypothermia and frostbite, Antelope Valley residents are encouraged to wear layers of clothing while outdoors, as well as hats, scarves, gloves and socks to protect skin that would otherwise be exposed.
If residents find someone who appears to be suffering from hypothermia or frostbite, they should be gently warmed while immediate medical care is sought.
“There are places where people can go to stay warm, such as shelters or other public facilities,” Davis said.
For those who do not have a safe, warm place to shelter from the cold, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has made available its Winter Shelter Program. For information, visit lahsa.org or call 211 to reach the L.A. County Information line.
Pets should also be brought indoors overnight, added Public Health.
Those who have a warm indoor place to go also need to be careful.
“We also want to remind people not to use stoves, barbeques or ovens to heat their homes due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning,” Davis said.
In addition to installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home, residents should warm indoor areas with natural gas or electric heaters or fireplaces.
If a generator is needed, it should be placed at least 10 feet away from all doors and windows so that its exhaust fumes do not come inside.
Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include shortness of breath, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and nausea, and anyone believed to be suffering from carbon monoxide exposure should be taken to fresh air and an emergency room for immediate treatment.
“People may have irreversible brain damage or even die before anyone realizes there’s a problem,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
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