ODP Medical Director Dr. Greg Cherpes has issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert. With current extreme cold weather and snow affecting much of the United States, the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) is sending this Health Alert as a reminder to all, and particularly to CEOs and Agency Administrators of residential programs, to ensure that necessary precautions are in place to prevent cold-weather-related health risks.
Please check that your sites’ heating systems are functioning properly, that your buildings are secure, and emergency intervention/provisions are in place if needed. Confirm that vehicles are ready to transport people when necessary and that emergency backups are in place. Foremost, the best precaution is to stay indoors whenever possible.
Exposure to the cold for too long can cause serious health problems. Hypothermia and frostbite are the most common cold-related health problems.
If you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care. First, determine whether the victim also shows signs of hypothermia. Hypothermia is a more serious medical condition and requires emergency medical assistance.
Please see the CDC website for further information — Extreme Cold: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety.