Thursday, January 24, 2013

Preventing Hypothermia:  A Dangerous Health Condition

LARGO, MD—The Prince George’s County Health Department wants residents to be aware of the impact that over exposure to cold weather can have on your health during the winter months.  Hypothermia and frostbite are two fairly common conditions that typically affect people at this time of year and residents should take precautions in order to ensure that they keep themselves and family members safe and warm.

 “We want to remind residents to dress in layers, wear mittens versus gloves and to cover your head when outside for significant periods of time.  These are just a few of the simple ways to prevent illness that may result from extreme cold weather conditions,” said Pamela B. Creekmur, Health Officer.  “When exposed to cold weather, our bodies lose heat faster than it can be produced which could result in bodily injury, illness, and even death.”

The Health Department advises all residents to check on your elderly relatives and neighbors to ensure they have adequate heat and protection from the cold.

Hypothermia is one of the serious health problems that can be caused by exposure during cold weather.  If a person’s body temperature drops below 95 degrees, immediately seek medical attention.

In mild cases the symptoms include:

  • Uncontrollable shivering
  • Pale and cold skin

Other more serious signs include:

  • Confusion or sleepiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Shallow breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Stiffness in the arms or legs
  • Or, poor control over body movements

In the case of serious symptoms, contact the victim’s doctor or call 911.

In either case, until help arrives or the person is seen by a doctor, move the person to a warm room, warm the body with dry layers of blankets or clothing, and give warm beverages.

Frostbite refers to actual freezing and subsequent destruction of body tissue which is likely to occur any time skin temperature gets much below 32F.  The areas most likely to freeze are toes, fingers, ears, cheeks and the tip of the nose.

Individual at risk for frostbite include those with impaired circulation, the elderly, the very young and anyone who remains outside for prolonged periods.  The danger increases if the individual becomes wet.

Symptoms of frostbite include:

  • Gradual numbness;
  • Hardness and paleness of the affected area during exposure,
  • Pain and tingling or burning in affected area following warming; and
  • Possible change of skin color to purple


Follow these tips to weather the winter in a healthy way:

  • Cover your head.  You lose as much as 50 percent of your body heat through your head.
  • Wear several layers of lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.  The air between the layers acts as insulation to keep you warmer.
  • Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect lungs from direct, extremely cold air.  Cover your ears and lower part of your face as well.
  • Wear mittens rather than fingered gloves.  The close contact of fingers helps to keep your hands warm.
  • Wear warm leg coverings and heavy socks or two pairs of lightweight socks.
  • Wear waterproof boots or sturdy shoes to keep your feet warm and dry.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


The water main break has been repaired and water restored.  WSSC workers are still on the scene, but are there to make road repairs (temporary).  All residents should be have water at this time.

Thanks to all that helped to keep things moving during this crisis, including our own code enforcement officer Kevin SImpson who stayed on the job until late into the evening.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Water Main Break/Repairs/Water Station

As everyone knows by now, there is a water main break on Queens Chapel Road.  WSSC is and has been out there making repairs most of the day.  WSSC believes that the repair will be complete by midnight tonight.  Mayor and Council have followed their progress all day, and posted information on the City's website, cable channels and listserv.  The following is available for persons who MAY need water.

WSSC has setup a temporary water station near Advance Auto Parts on Queens Chapel Road.We have been told by WSSC's representative, Kevin Wilbright, that he will go to the apartments in the surrounding areas to find out about their water situations, and provide them with water if necessary. Our community contact person for the water station is Dave Wilkins and he can be reached at (301) 648-6953.

Please your Ward Council member, City Manager or me, know, if you are having water issues.  My email address is

Inauguration Day Information re Transportation

Only 11 days until Inauguration day. Metro is preparing to transport hundreds of thousands of visitors on Inauguration Day 2013. As in past years, Metro is planning an increased level of service to accommodate the high ridership. As you make plans to travel on this historic day, please use the information below as a guide. Additional details, as well as important links (walking maps and a visitor’s kit), are listed in Metro’s Inauguration website:

·         METRORAIL: Metrorail will open at 4 a.m. and close at 2 a.m. Metrorail will provide 17 consecutive hours of rush-hour service -- from 4 a.m. until 9 p.m. Peak fares will be in effect during that time.
Archives, Mt. Vernon Square and Smithsonian stations will be closed on Inauguration Day. Several downtown Metrorail station entrances will be designated as "entry only" or "exit only" to safely manage crowds. Some escalators will be intentionally turned off to regulate the flow of customers.
·         METROBUS: Metrobus will operate weekday rush hour service in the morning, followed by an early rush hour in the afternoon. Many routes will operate on detours due to Inaugural events. Additional information about Metrobus service on Inauguration Day is posted online.
·         PARKING: Normal weekday parking rates will apply at Metrorail parking facilities. Parking fees will be charged as you exit the garage and may be paid by SmarTrip® or credit card. Parking lots and garages at Metro stations will fill very quickly on Inauguration Day. If you plan to park at a station, have a backup plan if parking is full. Consider connecting bus service, carpools, taxi, biking or even walking if possible.
Only authorized buses, such as Metrobuses and other transit buses, may access the stations. Bus parking is strictly prohibited at Metrorail stations. Charter bus operators must follow instructions on the District of Columbia’s Inauguration website:

·         METROACCESS: MetroAccess will operate identical hours to Metrorail and Metrobus. MetroAccess customers are encouraged to plan extra time due to increased traffic throughout the service area.
·         ALERTS: Sign up for Metro Inauguration Alerts by entering your email address and phone number on Metro’s Inauguration website, By email and text message, you will recieve real-time updates of any service changes over Inauguration Weekend, as well as important news about traveling on Metro prior to the event. You can also follow the special Inauguration Twitter account, @MetroInaug or Metro’s main Twitter account @wmata.
·         FARECARDS: Please purchase your farecard or SmarTrip® card in advance to avoid long lines on Inauguration Day. Each traveler age 5 or older needs his or her own card to enter and exit the Metrorail system. You can buy cards online at, transit store or at any Metrorail station, Metro sales office or local CVS, Giant or Safeway stores. If you’re not using a One Day Pass, be sure to load enough value on your SmarTrip® or farecard for your entire trip - in advance - for each member of your group. If you use a paper farecard, a $1 surcharge applies for each Metrorail trip you take. Metrobus fares can be paid with cash (exact change) or with a SmarTrip® card. Visit the station information pagefor your origin station to determine your fare. Remember to add $1 to the fare for each trip if you use a paper farecard.

The 2013 Presidential Inauguration Commemorative SmarTrip Card is now available for purchase for $15 in all Metro sales offices as well as online. It comes with a One Day Unlimited Trip Metrorail Pass ($14 value, can be used on any date), and as an added bonus, the card can be used for free Metrobus travel on Monday, January 21.

·         INAUGURATION DAY METRO RIDER GUIDE (PDF): This rider guide is also available in all Metrorail stations and on Metrobus. Includes detailed map information on Metrorail and Metrobus, recommended routes, walking directions to the National Mall, and important travel tips.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


From: Berwyn Heights CERTS []

Subject: Certified Emergency Response Training (Cert) Training Available

CERT training available on March 9 & 10th.  This class is part of a national program to train people how to prepare, mitigate and respond to natural and man made disasters.  CERT is about readiness, people helping people, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their actions can make a difference. Through training, citizens can manage utilities and put out small fires; treat the three killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock; provide basic medical aid; search for and rescue victims safely; and organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective.

The class will be from 8 am to 4 pm Saturday and Sunday, March 9th and 10th, at the Berwyn Heights Town Hall5700 Berwyn RoadBerwyn HeightsMD 20740
Please wear comfortable clothing and hard soled shoes.

There is no cost for this class.  It is sponsored by Prince George’s County and the Town of Berwyn Heights CERT.  Your attendance signifies your acceptance of this training and that you accept all liability and risks associated with it and that you will hold harmless all instructors, trainers, and the respective governments involved. 

The attached link explains the program and history. 

You can register now, and there is still time to notify your co-workers, neighbors and family of this program. 

Please contact:

Brian P. Gibson, Sr.
Chief of Police
Colmar Manor Police Department
3611 43rd. Ave.
Colmar ManorMD 20722