Steps to take to safely weather winter storms

Snow Road (Source: Pexels/Travis Rupert)
(Source: Pexels/Travis Rupert)

(KBSI) – It’s winter time and it’s cold! Make sure you plan ahead to protect yourself and your family from the hazards that come with cold weather.

Southern 7 Health Department shares some basic steps you can take to safely weather the storms.

  • Heat your home safely. Furnaces should be inspected prior to use and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Check local fire codes for your area if using a fireplace, space, or kerosene heaters.
  • Generators, gas or charcoal grills, camp stoves, or similar devices should be used following all manufacturer instructions. Never use any of these indoors. Each can produce fumes that can be deadly, so make sure to install a battery-powered carbon monoxide (CO) detector in your home. Do not use a generator or any appliance if they are wet.
  • Should you lose your primary heat source for any reason, do not turn on the stove for heat but instead bring out extra blankets, sleeping bags, and warm winter coats. Conserve heat by avoiding unnecessary opening of doors and windows, close draperies or cover windows with blankets at night, and close off unneeded rooms.
  • Remember that babies and older adults may not be able to maintain body heat effectively. Consider staying elsewhere if heating your home becomes an issue.
  • Keep your home well-lit to avoid injuries. Use battery-powered flashlights and lanterns during a power outage avoiding candles, if possible. Never leave lit candles unattended.
  • Make sure to dress warm with layers, stay dry, and eat well-balanced meals if you’re planning to venture outdoors. Alcoholic and caffeinated beverage cause your body to loose heat faster, so instead chose warm, sweet beverages or broth to keep yourself warm. Talk to your doctor about any dietary restrictions you may have.
  • When you’re outside always watch for signs of hypothermia, frostbite, and over exertion in yourself and others. Let someone know when you are going outdoors and when you plan to return.
  • If traveling let others know your plans and check weather reports and travel conditions frequently. Always carry extra warm clothing and blankets in your vehicle, and keep your phone charged. If stranded, stay in your car until help arrives. Run the motor and heater for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window slightly to let air in to avoid CO poisoning.

For more tips on staying safe during a winter storm visit www.cdc.gov/disasters or call Bobi Cavins, S7HD Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, at 618-634-2297 ext. 9123.

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