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PDecember 10, 2013

Snow Watch: How to be Prepared When the Winter Weather Hits

As snow starts to fall in your area, how can you be sure you and your family are safe this, and every, winter season? Winter storms could bring anything from moderate snow for a few hours, to wind-driven snow that could last for several days. They can range in size and can be accompanied by dangerously low temperatures, strong wind, ice, sleet or freezing rain. There are a few items you may not have thought of that could help you be prepared for these conditions, whether it be indoors, outdoors or even in your car.

Winter Weather Advisory

Spending time indoors can be fun and relaxing. You can watch a movie, play games, build a fire and more on your snowy day off. However, what could happen if you lost power? How about if your heater breaks? Have you taken a look at the batteries of your smoke or carbon monoxide detectors lately? Being prepared for the worst can make the season go by a lot more smoothly then not being prepared at all. We’ve compiled a list of items that could help you in being prepared for a possible extended stay indoors.

  • Close rooms that do not require heat.
  • Gather heavy clothing and blankets.
  • Keep your home well ventilated.
  • Make sure all carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are operational and have working batteries.
  • Gather flashlights and extra batteries.
  • Have enough water, dried and canned goods, energy bars and food that does not need to be heated.
  • Have a battery or crank-operated radio handy for weather updates and notifications.
  • Make sure your cell phone is fully charged.
  • Avoid using generators, grills, camping stoves or any other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning device inside the home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed areas. Instead, utilize a unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide t come indoors.
  • Watch out for lit candles because they could increase the likelihood of a fire.

Now, you’re out of popcorn and candy! It’s time to head out to the store. In your travels, make sure your car is fit for the journey. Even a short trip to the store can take a while longer than it typically would. Make sure your vehicle has plenty offuel and is equipped with the following:

  • First aid kitWinter Weather Tips Car
  • LED Safety light
  • Cell Phone
  • Shovel
  • Blankets and extra clothing
  • Enough dried goods, energy bars, and canned goods that do not need heating for each person
  • Bottled water

It’s has finished snowing, and now it’s time to make a Snow Man!  Here are some tips for staying alert and protected from the cold and snow:

  • Watch for signs of hypothermia such as slurred speech and confusion.

    (MedicineNet, 2008)

  • Watch for symptoms of frostbite, including white patches on the flesh and extremities (fingers, toes, ears and nose) as well as painful tingling or numbing
  • Snow shovels.
  • Salt and sand to help prevent falls when moving about outside
  • Keep dry. Being wet will cause chill to set in more quickly than if you’re dry. Don’t over-dress. Being sweaty and clammy is dangerous.
  • You should be warm (not hot) and dry at all times.
  • When dressing, keep in mind whether you will be exposed to moisture (sleet, wet snow, rain and/or wind). Both moisture and wind will make you colder faster than if the weather is dry and calm.
  • Dress for function over fashion.
  • Mittens insulate better than ordinary gloves as the fingers insulate each other better when packed close together.
  • In an emergency, you can further insulate your jacket, shirt, or the like by stuffing newspaper, dry leaves, or the like in your clothes.

Winter snow can be extremely fun, playing with kids and enjoying time indoors, but it can also be very tragic if you are not properly prepared for emergencies. Keep these tips and facts in mind when preparing for the cold winter and holiday season.

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