Sunday, January 22, 2012

Are You Prepared For Winter?

  Winter is here and no matter where you live chances are you will experience some type of severe weather change such as Snow, Ice, Rain, High Winds etc or all of the above. Are you honestly prepared for it? What if your power, heat or communication gets knocked out for an extended time, are you ready for that? Sometimes this can happen for days at a time. Heavy snow or extreme cold can keep you an entire region immobilized.

   The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as "Deceptive Killers" because most deaths due to weather are not caused from the storm itself but instead by the indirect causes such as car accidents on icy roads and hypothermia due to prolonged exposure to the cold. It is extremely important to be prepared.

What do you need to be prepared?

  • Have an emergency kit - You should have enough Food, Water and other supplies that can get you by for at least 72 hours. In this kit you should also put a Medical Emergency Kit in it with basic supplies a flashlight, battery operated radio and have enough prescription medication to get you by for at least 72 hrs (I would suggest a week at least)
  • Heat - Have enough fuel for your heater(s) If you have a wood burning fireplace make sure you have enough Dry Wood to burn for source of heat for at least 72 hrs. Your main heat supply could be cut off during a bad storm. 
  • Plan - If your family is separated at the time of the storm (someone is at work etc.) it is important to know how you will contact each other once communication is available. How and where you will meet up if it is safe to do so if communication is not available. 
  • Radio - Get a battery operated radio with spare batteries. Listen to the National Weather or you Local Weather to get updates on what is going on and Safe Places/Sleeping Arrangements that are being made.
  • Travel - Don't travel unless you need to. If you do need to travel make sure that you have safety supplies with you. Jumper cables, blanket, emergency kit, shovel, sand, salt etc.
  • Pets - Bring your pets inside during winter weather. Move your livestock to stables or shelter areas until the storm pass'. Always make sure that they have fresh food and that their water is not frozen.

What do you do during the storm?
  • Stay indoors as much as possible. Don't go out unless you absolutely have to.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling as it can bring on a heart attack. This is a major cause of death in the winter. If you do need to shovel your walks, driveways or anything else make sure you stretch before doing so.
  • Always pay attention where you are walking and be careful. You could be walking on black ice. Make sure you are sure footed before taking your next step.
  • Always keep dry. Change your clothes if you do get wet, wet clothing looses its insulation ability.
  • Drive only if it is necessary. Don't leave unless you really need to. Remember the leading causes of death is not the storm itself but the accidents and hypothermia because of the storm.
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia. These include but aren't limited to: uncontrollable shivering, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and memory loss.
  • If you do need to leave let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be there. Don't make any unexpected stops along the way unless you can reach that person as this should be a way for them to know to send help if you are not there in an allotted time frame.
  • I don't like this one.... Make sure you have plenty of ventilation when using your kerosene heaters to avoid build up of toxic fumes. When you need to refuel them do it outside and away from the home, Never do it in the home or in the garage. Refer to my Carbon Monoxide Post.
  • If you will be leaving your home for any time during the cold make sure to leave your heat on so your pipes don't freeze as this can cause more problems then what its worth.
   If you lose power or heat and it is safe, go to a public shelter during periods of extreme cold. Text SHELTER + your zip code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find your nearest shelter. Continue to wear warm dry clothing to prevent hypothermia.
(example would be: shelter 12345)

   For more information you can visit the following sites:
(***The guide below is excellent!!!***)

As always I would love to hear from you so leave your comments below. Remember to join by clicking "Join" button to the right of the page and invite your friends and family so we can spread these safety tips and techniques. Thanks for visiting!

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