Preparedness Corner
December 11, 2000
By Paul Vircsik

Hi neighbors.  The clouds are again upon us and the weather is getting colder. Much colder. It might be a good idea to put a blanket and some cold weather gear in the car in case you get stuck somewhere. And don’t forget water. Eating snow chills the body as it tries to warm the snow to digest it.

A lot of the natural decorations and vegetation we put in our homes is poisonous for us, especially for small children and pets. Tinsel…bad, egg nog…good, mistletoe…bad. On the other hand, the old myth about poinsettias is false, though they can give you an upset stomach. Remember the old scout poem about “leaves of three let it be, berries white poisonous site”? So give your significant other a kiss under the mistletoe, but don’t eat it.

A sad note, we had a fire death here in California. A 5-year-old boy was playing with his friends putting objects on top of a quartz work light to watch them melt. Something caught fire and burned the home. So a reminder. With the Christmas season, candles, lights, pine boughs and paper decorations adorn our homes giving an opportunity for heat to dry out and ignite them at lower temperatures than normal (pyroforic carbonization). Please be careful and enjoy the season. The summer party is only seven months away, for those of you who dislike the snow.

See you all soon,

Meet the author: Read about Paul Vircsik's background