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Winter Weather Preparedness Week web

Winter Weather Preparedness Week

December 5-9 is recognized as Winter Weather Preparedness Week this year in Georgia. In conjunction with the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency and its partnership with the National Weather Service, and along with many of our core local partners, we are devoting each day this week to highlight a specific winter weather-related topic:

WWPWMonday, Dec. 5: Winter Weather in Georgia   -- learn about various winter weather hazards that can impact the state of Georgia

Winter storms, which often affect North Georgia, result in extreme cold, downed power lines and blocked roads and highways.

Prepare for the Winter with such items as:
  • Extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats.
  • Fireplace or wood-burning stove with plenty of dry firewood, or a gas log fireplace.
  • Kerosene heater, with proper ventilation.

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National Influenza Vaccination Week is a critical opportunity to remind everyone 6 months and older that there’s still time to protect themselves and their loved ones from flu this flu season by getting their annual flu vaccine if they have not already. Currently, flu activity is elevated across the country, so this week will serve to remind people that there is still time to benefit from the first and most important action in preventing flu illness and potentially serious flu complications: Get a Flu Vaccine TODAY. Flu vaccines are available at health departments in the North Georgia Health District in CherokeeFanninGilmerMurrayPickens, and Whitfield counties, and there is no appointment needed during regular clinic hours. The vaccine is for NO or LOW cost, depending on a person's healthcare coverage.
Spread CHEER, Not FLU this Holiday! Go to
Learn more about how to protect against influenza from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at

 Antiques Lead Poisoning

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The rustic farmhouse look has been very popular all over the country in the last decade. Some DIY television programs have shown viewers how to use antique corbels, doors, windows, and décor to make their homes look rustic and “lived in”. The charm of an antique door with chipping paint has been all the rage.

What most people don’t know is that the majority of those antique pieces are full of lead. Lead paint was used prior to 1978 on houses, doors, windows, trim, furniture, toys, jewelry, books, magazines, ceramic ware, leaded crystal, and stained glass, among many other things. Even now, lead is still used to make car keys and is still added to household objects and toys.

Lead paint will deteriorate over time, chip off and create lead dust. This lead dust is then breathed in by everyone around it. Lead paint also has a sweet taste to it. This makes children want to peel chipping paint and eat it. It also makes them want to chew on wood painted with lead paint like windowsills and even doors. Doors, windows, and siding are significant sources of lead in older homes.

What happens when lead enters the body? Adults are affected by lead causing them to have issues with their central nervous system, high blood pressure, and it affects many other organs. However, the greatest and most devasting damage is done to the fetus and children under the age of six.

Lead causes the most damage to the central nervous system. This includes the brain, brain connections, and mental, physical, and behavioral development. The damage caused by lead is permanent. Damage can be anywhere from mild to severe and has even resulted in death. In pregnant women, it could cause loss of pregnancy if lead exposure is severe enough.

 Hunting Lead Poisoning

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There are more than 15 million hunting license holders in the United States, with Georgia ranking 5th among the states at approximately 625K.

Over the centuries, hunting has largely evolved from necessity to sport; however, one of the lesser known potential dangers of both hunting and fishing remains: The risk for lead poisoning through lead ammunition and fishing weights.

Lead is a heavy metal that occurs naturally and is used to this day in many everyday objects as well as things that are used in certain occupations and popular hobbies.

Lead poisoning occurs when people are exposed to lead and it enters the body. People and even animals can be lead poisoned by being exposed to lead just one time. Most of the time, however, lead exposure is chronic. Lead enters the body when food or paint chips are swallowed, or when lead dust is inhaled.

When hunting, people are exposed to lead through lead ammunition fragments in the game meat. Also, lead residue is produced and breathed in when lead ammunition is fired. This happens with hunters or anyone else who enjoys the shooting lead ammunition. This means that hunters are both eating and breathing lead. But hunters are not the only ones affected by this lead. When game meat is taken home to be eaten, the family is now also exposed to the lead fragments in the meat. There are terrible effects of lead poisoning in adults, but consequences of lead poisoning in a child can be life changing.

Lead poisoning in unborn babies and children under the age of six is particularly dangerous. Lead affects the central nervous system, which includes the brain. Other organs can also be damaged. It is particularly dangerous in young children because it damages the brain and can cause developmental and physical delays as well as behavioral issues. The damage caused by lead poisoning is permanent and sometimes severe. Severe lead poisoning can also lead to death.