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A blast of winter weather is heading our way as temperatures dip below the freezing mark.
The Muskingum Valley Red Cross is advising residents to take precautions when it comes to alternative heating sources.
"One of the things is with alternative heat sources, especially wood burners, have your chimney cleaned and inspected to make sure that you're not going to have a chimney fire," said Executive Director Marlene Henderson. "Keep all combustibles at least 3 feet away from any kind of wood burner or heater in the house."
Henderson said a lot of house fires start in the kitchen when the cook gets distracted or leaves the stove unattended. She said injuries from shoveling snow are another problem.
"You're always at a very huge risk with that for a couple of different reasons like heart attacks," said Henderson. "It's very strenuous, especially with very heavy snow. Don't overdo it and take a break. Be careful how you bend over. If you feel yourself get short of breath, stop and go back inside."
Henderson recommends bundling up in several layers of lightweight clothing and stocking pantries with enough water and non-perishable food to last three days in case of an emergency.