Winter threat is real, be prepared for wind, snow, and freezing temperatures

Published 11:41 am Friday, January 12, 2024

It’s been a while since we have seen real winter weather, but the weatherman is calling for some brutally cold temperatures this week along with the chance of some snow. Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms can bring extreme cold, snow, ice and high winds.
A winter storm can last a few hours or several days, cut off heat, power, and communication services, and put older adults, children, and sick people at greater risk.
The winter cold and snow are forecast to hit the local area on Monday and Tuesday with snow Tuesday and frigid temperatures to follow. The cold temperatures are expected to continue through most of the week.
Make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors have batteries and are working. Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
Also, make sure your food supply is adequate. Stock up on bread, milk and non-perishable food.
If the roads are snow-covered and icy, stay at home. Limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, then wear layers of warm clothing. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
Reduce the risk of a heart attack by avoiding overexertion when shoveling snow and walking in the snow.
With temperatures expected to dip into the single digits in the upcoming week, make sure your water pipes are insulated with newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.
Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts.
Portable generators are commonly used in the winter as a result of storm-induced power outages. Carbon monoxide fumes are odorless and deadly. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to prevent death from carbon monoxide.
Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
Have your vehicle serviced to ensure it is prepared for the winter season.
In every vehicle, place a winter emergency kit that includes: a shovel; windshield scraper and small broom; flashlight; battery-powered radio; extra batteries; water; snack food; matches; extra hats, socks and mittens; first aid kit with a pocket knife; medications; blankets; tow chain or rope; road salt and sand; booster cables; emergency flares; and a fluorescent distress flag.
Here’s hoping our region is spared the worst winter weather. But there is a reason to be prepared. Cold weather can be very dangerous.

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