As heavy snow and bitterly cold weather moves into our region the American Red Cross is offering some tips on staying safe. ‘’Whether trying to keep your home warm or having to be outside in the cold, you can follow these steps to get through the storm,’’ said Lyn Hruska, Regional Chief Executive Officer for the American Red Cross.
- Around your home, make sure you keep children, pets and things that can burn – such as paper and bedding – at least three feet away from heating equipment.
- If you are using a space heater, make sure it is placed on a level, hard and nonflammable surface…not on rugs, carpets or near bedding and drapes.
- Never leave a fire in a fireplace unattended and use a glass or metal fire screen to keep embers in the fireplace.
- Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
- Turn off portable space heaters every time you leave the room or go to sleep.
If you venture outdoors during the storm:
- Wear layers of clothing, a hat, gloves and waterproof, insulated boots.
- Be careful when tackling strenuous tasks like shoveling snow in cold temperatures. It could lead to a heart attack.
- Check on neighbors, especially elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
- Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come indoors make sure they have an adequate shelter where they can get unfrozen water.
- Watch for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed grey, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or a waxy feeling of skin.
If you must travel on the roads, follow these tips:
- Make sure everyone has their seat belts on and keep your full attention on the road.
- Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roads.
- Do not use cruise control when driving on the snow.
- Don’t pass snow plows. Give the plows plenty of room on the roads.
- Ramps, bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways…so be especially careful in those areas.
You can download the Red Cross Emergency App for free at redcross.org/apps.