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Extreme Weather Task Force launches winter safety and blanket drive

Temperatures may have warmed back up since last week’s cold spell, but winter is less than two months away. Today, the Extreme Weather Task Force launched its winter safety and blanket drive to help people prepare for the frigid temperatures to come.

“The message we want to deliver to the community is that of prevention cold related illnesses and death are preventable, and that’s the most important thing we want to transmit to the community,” says Dr. Hector Ocaranza of the Department of Public Health.

The Extreme Weather Task Force is collecting blanket donations, but it only has 200 so far. You can drop off blankets at any fire station across El Paso.

The task force also wants to highlight the warning signs of hypothermia, which include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness in adults. Infant warning signs include bright red, cold skin and very low energy.

Ocaranza says that hot drinks are good way to warm up, but he says to avoid alcohol.

The El Paso Fire Department wanted to highlight that it is important to keep flammable objects at least three feet away from any heat sources. According to Consumer Reports, at least 25,000 house fires and 300 deaths or directly or indirectly caused by space heaters each year.

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