With the arrival of Winter comes the possibility of snow and ice storms. We all know to dress warm and be careful on snowy, icy walkways. But when was the last time you thought about your emergency plan for when a snow storm hits?
Prepare Ahead of Time
* Winterize your house.
* Winterize your car.
* Prepare emergency kits for home and car.
Have on Hand
* Products to melt ice on walkways (salt, sand, etc).
* Snow shovels and snow removal equipment.
* Alternative source of heating fuel in case regular fuel sources are cut off.
* Adequate clothing and blankets.
* A way of receiving emergency weather alerts (NOAA radio, weather app, etc).
When the Storm Hits
* Bring in pets, move other animals / livestock to shelter.
* Stay indoors when possible.
* Keep dry, keep warm.
* Drive only if necessary.
* Conserve fuel, if necessary.
* When using a kerosene heater, keep the area well vented.
After the storm, stay indoors, if possible. If your home loses power or heat for more than a few hours, or if you do not have adequate supplies to stay warm in your home overnight, you may want to go to a designated public shelter if you can get there safely. Also remember to restock your emergency supplies. Assess how well your supplies and emergency plan worked, and improve, if necessary, before the next winter storm hits.
Frostbite and Hypothermia
Signs of Frostbite: Occurs when the skin and body tissue just beneath it freezes. Loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, earlobes, face, and the tip of the nose.
What to Do: Cover exposed skin, but do not rub the affected area in an attempt to warm it up. Seek medical help immediately.
Signs of Hypothermia: Dangerously low body temperature. Uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.
What to Do: Get the victim to a warm location. Remove wet clothing. Warm the center of the body first by wrapping the person in blankets or putting on dry clothing. Give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Seek medical help immediately.