Hard to believe but winter is fast coming up on us. With winter weather we face new challenges in our ability to be prepared. Snow, ice, and subzero temperatures can cause power outages lasting a few hours or even days. Some automobiles are more equipped today to handle a few inches of snow or even bear through the cold months better, but ice can still cause havoc with even the most skilled driver. As we Fall into Winter, take a moment to review a few basic preparedness tips, in the event of severe weather.
- Stock your vehicle with window scraper, kitty litter or sand (provides traction if you get stuck, extra clothes and blankets, disaster preparedness kit, nonperishable snacks and water, first aid kit, flash light, and battery powered radio.
- Remove snow and ice from headlights and ALL windows to see. Keep gas tank full.
- Wear seatbelts and avoid distractions such as cell phones.
- Don’t follow too close. Sudden stops are hard on slick roads.
- Don’t use cruise control.
- Know that bridges, overpasses, and ramps will freeze before the roads. Use caution and avoid sudden braking in those areas.
- Don’t run radio, lights, chargers or other electronic equipment without the engine to avoid draining the battery.
- The oven and stove are not home heaters. Do not use either for heating a home.
- Grills and camp stoves are only to be used outdoors. Never use anything gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal fueled indoors or even partially indoors. Not only will you create a fire hazard but burning any of these heating sources will create gases which can be fatal.
- Do not hook a generator up to your home’s wiring. Plug appliances directly into outlets on the generator.
- Space heaters should be used on a clean, hard, dry surface. Nothing flammable should be within three feet of the heater. Turn off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Fireplaces should have a screen to catch embers and rolling logs. Put fire out before going to bed.
- Try to keep refrigerator and freezer doors shut to preserve food.
You can also find winter preparedness tips on the Red Cross First Aid App and what to do in the case of power outages by visiting www.redcross.org. We urge you to share these Red Cross winter storm preparedness tips with every member of your household, because the best protection is to be prepared ahead of time.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.
-Article by Stephanie Burns, SOMO Red Cross volunteer