(Gloucester Township, NJ) – Commissioner Virginia Betteridge, Camden County Department of Health and Human Services liaison, advises municipalities that the area will be under a Code Blue advisory Tuesday evening through the morning of Thursday, Nov. 24.
The health official has issued a Code Blue advisory for Camden County that will be in effect from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. beginning November 22 through the morning of November 24. During Code Blue the temperature will drop to 30 degrees. Please note that the new after-hours Code Blue emergency hotline is 2-1-1.
“As we’ve experienced more inclement weather this past week, temperatures have remained low over the past several days and will continue into the Thanksgiving holiday,” Betteridge said. “We need to make sure everyone is inside and away from these cold elements. It is also important that our elderly or disabled residents have their heaters in working condition and that all pets are brought indoors .
When the Camden County Health Official announces a Code Blue Weather Advisory, municipalities with homeless populations, situationally homeless or transient populations are expected to activate their Code Blue response plan to meet their immediate needs. .
“If you know someone who is elderly or disabled, please check on them to make sure they are prepared to stay safe in this dangerous temperature,” Betteridge said.
With a large portion of families in Camden County owning a cat or a dog, Betteridge wants to make sure all pets are safe even during these extreme temperatures.
Here are some cold weather tips from Commissioner Betteridge to keep your pets safe:
- When the thermometer drops below 32 degrees, keep your pet indoors as much as possible. If your pet must stay outside, provide a warm shelter, raised a few inches off the ground, with openings away from the wind and covered with a burlap or plastic flap. The shelter should be large enough for the animal to stand and turn around in, but small enough to retain its body heat.
- If your pet is outside for extended periods when the temperature is below freezing (32 degrees), be alert for signs of distress from the cold. Like people, shivering is a sign that the body temperature is dropping. If you notice your pet shivering, it’s probably time to bring him inside. Remember, your pet’s core body temperature is between 101-102 degrees and his body temperature drops rapidly in cold weather.
- A very young, very old pet or a pet with a health problem is more sensitive to the cold.
- An animal with thick fur can tolerate the cold for a longer period of time than an animal with short and short hair.
- Never leave your pet in an unheated vehicle for long periods of time.
- Make sure your pet has clean drinking water. Don’t let your pet drink from puddles that may contain deadly antifreeze or other harmful chemicals.
- A pet can pick up rock salt, ice, and other melting chemicals in the pads of its feet. This can harm your pet. Massaging petroleum jelly into paw pads before going outside helps protect against salt and chemical agents. Moisturizing followed by a good toweling off helps heal cracked paws. Wipe your pet’s feet with a damp cloth when you come inside to avoid damaging your pads. If this is a problem for your pet, booties are available in all sizes. Your dog can get used to wearing shoes inside the house for a short period of time. Not all dogs take to them.
- If there are outdoor cats in the neighborhood, knock on the hood of your vehicle and look under it before starting and running your engine. Cats sometimes curl up next to or under a hot engine when they are left out in the cold.
- Antifreeze has an attractive aroma and taste to animals and is extremely toxic! Be especially cautious about ingesting antifreeze. The first sign of antifreeze poisoning is a pet that appears intoxicated. Take your pet to the vet immediately if you suspect he has ingested antifreeze as this can be fatal within four
up to eight hours after consumption.
The Camden County Health Department and Office of Emergency Management have worked with each municipality to ensure they have the appropriate resources to respond to these severe weather conditions as part of their individual Code Blue plans. Each municipality has identified its own space to accommodate people in their community seeking shelter from severe weather.
Persons taking shelter in a warming center should contact their local municipality. Additional resources are available by calling the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services at (800) 999-9045 or visiting www.camdencounty.com.
In case of power outage, please report it directly to the appropriate utility provider listed below: