As winter approaches, it is the perfect time to consider whether you are prepared for extreme cold or a snow emergency. Extreme cold brings the risk of frostbite to exposed skin, whereas heavy snowfall can cause downed trees and powerlines, extended power outages, and dangerous road conditions, among other hazards.
The best thing you can do is to prepare for winter storms before they happen. Some important preparedness staples include testing your carbon monoxide alarm, ensuring that you have extra batteries, and creating emergency supply kits for your car and your home. These supply kits should include blankets, bottled water, flashlights, a radio, batteries, and nonperishable food. Another great addition to your supply kit is a charged external battery for your cell phone. Having power for your phone will help you keep up to date with forecasts and emergency information.
When a winter storm does hit, it is important to stay off of roads. Slippery ice can cause deadly accidents, and if you’re not on the road, you greatly lessen your chance of being involved in one. Time outdoors in general should also be limited, and caution should be taken when shoveling snow, as elderly people can experience heart attacks from the exertion of heavy snow shoveling. Additionally, know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia, and some basics of how to treat these dangerous conditions.
Perhaps the most important part of winter weather safety is knowing the forecast in your area. Go to the National Weather Service website, www.weather.gov, or your local news station, for the most up-to-date coverage of any winter weather threat to your area. More information on winter weather preparedness can be found at this link: https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather#targetText=Have%20extra%20batteries%20for%20radios,%2C%20and%20non%2Dperishable%20snacks.
©2019 Meteorologist Margaret Orr
For more about weather preparedness, visit https://www.globalweatherclimatecenter.com/weather-safety-educational-topics