Winter Safety Tips to Never Forget
A winter storm may result in a beautiful white landscape, but they also bring many dangers and hazards. These storms can be unexpected and can halt your schedule for a few days. Knowing how to prepare for a last minute winter storm is essential to ensure you stay warm and have the proper necessities. Protect yourself and your family during a winter storm by following this guide.
Preparing to Drive In Winter
If the roads are coated in ice or deep snow, driving should be avoided. However, if the roads are mostly cleared, be sure you are taking the necessary precautions to avoid a crash. Check your tire tread and air pressure before leaving to ensure you will not have any issues with traction or flat tires. Keep in mind that as the outside temperature drops, the air pressure in your tires can decrease. Similarly to household water pipes, your gas line can also be prone to freeze in harsh weather. Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid a frozen gas line.
Remember to drive cautiously. Getting to your destination quickly is not more important than getting there safely. Maintaining traction control is more difficult on icy roads and can cause skidding. Increase your following distance so you have time to break if the car in front of you suddenly begins to slow down or swerve. Accelerate and break slowly to keep your tires on the correct path.
Have a Backup Supply of Important Items
If a winter storm rolls around, it can cause power outages and frozen water pipes. On top of that, the roads can be dangerous to drive on, keeping you and your family stationed at home for a few days. Being prepared in a situation like this can eliminate stress and sustain your family until the worst has passed. Buying a little extra nonperishable foods will ensure you have substantial food when cooking or going to the grocery store is not an option.
When extreme cold temperatures freeze your water, it can permanently damage your pipes. To prevent them from rupturing or breaking, be sure to keep your water taps on at a slow drip. When water is constantly moving, it is less likely to freeze. On top of that, make sure the temperatures inside your home are warm. Opening the cabinet doors and allowing the heat to reach the pipes is another way to reduce the risk of frozen pipes. If your water supply is frozen, having bottled water on standby can ensure you have drinking and sanitation supplies in the event that your water is cut off. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends one gallon of water per day for each person in the household.
If you have a backup power generator, it can help your family function as normal during a power outage. Using generators safely is important to prevent further damage. Ensure that they are used in a ventilated space and are away from doors and windows. You want to keep generators dry and away from outside weather elements.
Safely Heat Your Home
If the power goes out and the heat in your home is temporarily unavailable, you will need to implement another way to warm your home. Bundling up in layers is one of the best ways to safely keep you warm along with portable space heaters. Wood burning fireplaces can be a lifesaver and an easy way to provide warmth. Make sure you use space heaters and fireplaces safely and correctly during extreme weather conditions. Only dry wood should be used for the fire and space heaters should be positioned away from flammable materials.
Staying warm is one of the most important things you can do in a winter storm. For babies and older adults, this can be more challenging and they may need extra warmth. These people tend to lose body heat more quickly, making them more susceptible to colds and illnesses. Check on elderly neighbors or family members during a winter storm and ensure their home is properly heated. If a trip outside is mandatory, make sure to layer up and insulate your body heat.
Frostbite and hypothermia are real risks during winter storms. When you are exposed to extremely cold temperatures for extended periods of time, it can result in one of these conditions. Frostbite occurs when your body is frozen. Loss of color and feeling in your nose, ears, fingers, or toes. Hypothermia is when your body temperature reaches a dangerously low degree. Some common signs of hypothermia are shivering, exhaustion, confusion, and slurred speech.
If a winter storm is headed your way, do not panic and make sure you have everything you need for the worst outcome. Keeping warm, driving cautiously, and securing a backup water and food supplies will ensure that you stay safe through the storm.