Winter can be harsh at times, especially when there is a winter storm outside. Cold temperatures, icy roads, power failures, and loss of communication can make being outside dangerous, so it is very important to limit your time outdoors when a blizzard comes rolling into town. Below are some tips recommended by the CDC that you and your family can practice while indoors in order to stay safe during winter weather.
- Heat Your Home Safely. Be extremely careful when heating your home using a wood stove, fireplace or space heater. Be sure follow the manufacturer’s instructions and always remember to never leave a stove or fireplace unattended for a significant amount of time when it is burning wood or turned on. These can create fire hazards, so it is important to ensure all flames are extinguished before turning off the lights.
- Light Your Home Safely. Incase of a power failure, always use battery-operated flashlights or lanterns rather than candles if possible. Candles can create fire hazards and lead to house fires.
- Use Generators and Other Appliances Safely. When using a generator, they must be located at least 20 feet from any window, door, or vent, and a space where rain or snow cannot reach them. Never use gas-lit generators, charcoal grills, camp stoves, or other devices inside homes, garages, or near window because the fumes can be deadly.
- Conserve Heat. To prevent losing heat inside your home: avoid opening doors or windows, close off unneeded rooms, stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors, and close draperies or cover windows with blankets at night.
It is greatly encouraged that you try to stay indoors as much as possible during extremely cold weather. However, if you have to make a trip outside, try to keep it as brief or as short as possible and follow these tips below to help protect your health and safety.
- Dress Warm and Stay Dry. When headed out into the freezing cold temperatures, it is imperative that you dress in layers. Make sure to wear fabrics made out of wool, silk, or polypropylene which can hold in more body heat than cotton. Over that, you should wear insulated material to help retain heat and trap air close to your body. Then for an outer layer, you should wear materials are are tightly woven and preferably wind and water resistant to reduce loss of body heat and protect against wind, rain, and snow.
- Remember Hats, Mittens, and Boots. Before heading out in the snow, always remember to thrown on a hat, mittens, and water-resistant boots to keep your head, hands, and toes warm against the brisk outdoor elements.
For additional information about preparing for winter storms and preventing hypothermia and frostbite, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/duringstorm/indoorsafety.html.