Hoosiers urged to check on neighbors during deep freeze

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Homeland security officials are urging Hoosiers to be good neighbors during Indiana’s current deep freeze by checking on elderly or disabled neighbors who might need some help.

Department of Homeland Security spokesman John Erickson says residents should call ahead first, if possible, before checking on a neighbor’s welfare.

They should also try to limit such visits to the daylight hours and always ask neighbors if they’re comfortable receiving visitors.

Erickson suggests asking older or disabled neighbors if they need help clearing their driveway or sidewalk, if their home heating is working OK and if they need errands run.

If those neighbors don’t need any help, visiting residents should give them their contact information in case that changes.

Erickson says “being a good neighbor doesn’t take a lot of time.”

A concerned neighbor should check on the following according to their degree of comfort. Call ahead first if possible:

  • Visit during daylight hours if possible.
  • Make sure they are comfortable with receiving visitors.
  • Ask if it is OK to shovel their driveway and sidewalk.
    • Use some type of ice melt/traction enhancing product after clearing the walks.
  • See if they need anything from the store that can be picked up, or if there are any other errands.
  • Ask if there is any food that needs preparing.
  • If space heaters or other alternative heating devices are in use, provide advice, if possible, about safe use.
  • With permission, test smoke detectors. If needed, ask to change the batteries.
  • Consider connecting with relatives who may need a nearby resource.
  • If the neighbors don’t need help, provide contact information in case they might need it in the future.
  • Ask if they have at least a few days’ supply of medication they may be taking.

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