Each winter, neighborhoods across the U.S. are impacted by severe winter weather. With low temperatures, blinding snow and dangerous ice, it’s important to be prepared, and to know what to do before, during and after a winter weather event to stay safe. Braving the storm doesn’t have to be an uphill battle that leaves you in the cold. Here are some tips to help you stay safe and enjoy peace of mind this winter.
- Build a winter emergency kit:
- Water (1 gal. per person, per day for at least three days)
- Food (three-day supply of non-perishable foods)
- Manual can opener for food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
- Rock salt, snow shovels, adequate clothing and blankets to keep warm
- Bring pets inside and move livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
- Stay indoors.
- If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, warm clothing.
- If you must drive, let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to get there. That way, if you get into trouble, help can be dispatched along your pre-determined route.
- Arm your home security system so that you can quickly be alerted of fire or intrusion and respond accordingly.
- Look out for signs of frostbite: loss of feeling and pale appearance in extremities.
- Look out for signs of hypothermia: low body temperature, intense shivering, memory loss, exhaustion.
- If you’ve lost heat or power for more than a few hours, you may want to go to a public shelter. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 to find the nearest shelter in your community.
- Be sure to arm your home security alarm before leaving. In a power outage, thieves are more likely to take advantage of the cover of darkness. The good news? You can rest assured that your home will be protected because the backup battery will sustain the system.
- Bring personal items that you would need to spend the night.
- Continue to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting clothing in several layers.