In the South Central region, temperatures are expected to drop to 10 degrees, today Jan. 22, and with the expectation of temperatures remaining at the lower to mid 20-degree mark through Sunday, Jan. 27, it’s a good time to review a few winter weather safety tips.
While outside, the CDC recommends dressing warmly with a hat, scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth, sleeves that are snug at the wrist, mittens, water-resistant coats and boots and several layers of loose-fitting clothing. Also, avoid physical exertion and prolonged exposure to the cold.
Before you head out in your vehicle, make sure that you are prepared for a winter weather emergency. While many vehicles are already be equipped with basic emergency items that include a jack, lug wrench and spare tire, AAA suggests that we create our own tool kit that contains pliers, an adjustable wrench, utility knife, Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers, PVC tape, work gloves, oil, coolant, flashlight, water, shovel and a fire extinguisher. In addition to AAA’s suggestions, a few other important items to include are reflective emergency triangles, jumper cables, and a bag of salt or cinder.
In conjunction with an emergency tool kit for your car, you should have an emergency kit for you and your family. Basic items such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues, paper towels and a blanket will certainly make a winter weather emergency situation a little more comfortable. Also include specific items that are relevant to your family such as an EpiPen or asthma inhaler.
Winter weather safety inside your home is just as important. If you plan to use a wood stove or space heater, take care to ensure ventilation and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly, so resist the temptation to use a charcoal or gas grill indoors. If winter weather causes a power outage, use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns rather than candles if possible and never leave lit candles unattended. For more winter weather safety tips, check out the CDC Extreme Cold Guide.
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