Are you prepared for snowstorms & extreme cold? Be winter wise with these storm tips
Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. These same storms can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds that last a few hours or several days, knock out heat, power, and communication services and place older adults, young children, and the sick at greater risk.
Follow these tips to stay safe before and during a winter storm
Before the storm:
• Know your area’s risk for winter storms — extreme winter storms can leave your community without power or utilities for extended periods.
• Insulate your home with caulking and weather stripping.
• Research how to keep your pipes from freezing, cracking, or bursting.
• Verify any fire alarms or carbon monoxide detectors are functional with backup batteries.
• Sign up for local weather warnings; the EAS and NOAA also provide timely emergency alerts.
• Stock up on supplies in case you’re forced to stay indoors for multiple days due to a blizzard or power outages. Don’t forget any medications, pet food, or extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
• Stock your vehicle with emergency supplies including jumper cables, sandbags, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, drinking water, and non-perishable food. Keep your gas tank full.
• Learn how to identify and treat frostbite and hypothermia.
During the storm:
• Stay off the roads. If you’re stuck, remain inside your vehicle.
• Limit your time outside. When going outside, wear multiple layers of warm, dry clothing. Be mindful of frostbite and hypothermia.
• Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by using generators and grills outdoors and away from windows. Do not heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven.
• Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow to reduce the risk of a heart attack.
• If you spot hypothermia or frostbite, treat the affected person immediately.
• Check on neighbors, especially older adults and young children at higher risk.