Los Angeles County health officials warned Antelope Valley residents this week to take precautions against a cold snap forecast through Saturday.

Wind-chill temperatures are expected to be below freezing in the area.

“Children, the elderly and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during such cold snaps. Extra precaution should be taken to ensure they don’t get too cold when they are outside,” said Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, county interim Health Officer.

“There are places where people can go to stay warm, such as shelters or other public facilities. We also want to remind people not to use stoves, barbecues or ovens to heat their homes due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Residents are advised to:

• Dress in warm layers and protect extremities from the cold;

• Bring pets indoors and be sure not to leave them outside overnight;

• Check in on and offer to help seniors or those with illnesses who may have limited access to heat;

• Spend time at shopping malls, libraries or senior centers, for those without home heating; and

• Place any outdoor generator at least 10 feet away from doors and windows to avoid exhaust gases entering the home.

Winter shelters for the homeless open Dec. 1 and information on locations and transportation is available at www.lahsa.org or by calling the county information line at 211.