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Emergency preparedness for the cold weather!




While the weather isn't always predictable, we can get a pretty good idea from our local weather channel. Regardless of where we get our information from, its important to be aware and have the right equipment on hand in case you are stranded, hurt, or otherwise indisposed due to inclement weather!


*I'll start off by saying that this checklist is purely a recommendation. Should you find yourself in an emergent situation, please call 911. While it is important to have emergency items on hand, it is best to let professional medical and law enforcement personnel do their job.*


Since we are experiencing our first big cold of the winter (Who knew it would take so long?!), lets focus on cold weather (snow, ice, etc) related items.


The photo below is a great reference for what we should keep on hand inside and outside our homes, including items that should be found in our vehicles as well.


THE INFORMATION BELOW IS BEING PROVIDED PER THE WINTER STORM PREP LIST FROM THE NATIONAL RED CROSS.



Plan to Stay Warm

 

  • Stay warm indoors to prevent frostbite and hypothermia.

  • Before the winter season begins, make sure you can heat your home safely. Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking, and weather stripping.

  • Consider using an indoor thermometer or thermostat to monitor the temperature inside.

  • Plan to check on loved ones and neighbors to make sure they are staying warm. This is especially important for older adults and babies.

  • Drink plenty of warm fluids but avoid caffeine and alcohol.

  • Avoid travel if you can.

  • If you must go outside, plan to dress properly. Keep your nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, and toes covered in warm, dry clothing. These areas are the first to be at risk for frostbite.

  • Wear layers of loose clothing, a coat, hat, mittens, and water-resistant boots. Use a scarf to cover your face and mouth.

  • Know where you will go if your home becomes too cold. You could go to a friend’s house, a public library, or a warming center.

 

  • Gather food, water, and medicine before a winter storm.

  • Organize supplies into a Go-Kit and a Stay-at-Home Kit.

  • Go-Kit: at least three days of supplies you can carry with you if you need to go somewhere else to stay warm. Include critical backup batteries and chargers for your devices (cell phone, CPAP, wheelchair, etc.)

  • Stay-at-Home Kit: at least two weeks of supplies.

  • Ensure you have warm clothing (hats, mittens, blankets, etc), for everyone in your household.

  • Set aside at least one gallon of drinking water per person per day in case water becomes scarce.

  • Consider having emergency supplies in your vehicle, such as a blanket, warm clothing, a first aid kit, and boots.

  • Have a 1-month supply of needed medications and medical supplies. Consider keeping a list of your medications and dosages on a small card to carry with you.

  • Keep personal, financial, and medical records safe and easy to access (hard copies or securely backed up).

  • Have a snow shovel and ice-melting products to keep your walkways safe.

 

  • Learn first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Emergency services may be delayed.

  • Learn how to spot and treat frostbite and hypothermia.

  • Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery back-ups.

  • Be ready to live without power, gas, and water.

  • Learn how to keep pipes from freezing.

 

  • Gather food, water, and medicine before a winter storm. Stores might be closed, and it may be unsafe to travel.

  • Organize supplies into a Go-Kit and a Stay-at-Home Kit.

  • Go-Kit: at least three days of supplies you can carry with you if you need to go somewhere else to stay warm. Include critical backup batteries and chargers for your devices (cell phone, CPAP, wheelchair, etc.)

  • Stay-at-Home Kit: at least two weeks of supplies.

  • Ensure you have enough warm clothing, such as hats, mittens, and blankets, for everyone in your household.

  • You may lose access to drinking water. Set aside at least one gallon of drinking water per person per day.

  • Consider having emergency supplies in your vehicle, such as a blanket, warm clothing, a first aid kit, and boots.

  • Have a 1-month supply of needed medications and medical supplies. Consider keeping a list of your medications and dosages on a small card to carry with you.

  • Keep personal, financial, and medical records safe and easy to access (hard copies or securely backed up).

  • Have a snow shovel and ice-melting products to keep your walkways safe.

 

  • Learn first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Emergency services may be delayed.

  • Learn how to spot and treat frostbite and hypothermia.

  • Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery back-ups.

  • Be ready to live without power, gas, and water.

  • Learn how to keep pipes from freezing.

 

  • Sign up for free emergency alerts from your local government.

  • Plan to monitor local weather and news.

  • Have a backup battery or a way to charge your cell phone.

  • Have a battery-powered radio to use during a power outage.

  • Understand the alerts you may receive:

  • A WATCH means Be Prepared!

  • A WARNING means Take Action!

  • Create a support team to help everyone stay safe in a disaster. Plan how you can help each other.

 


To find more information on how to safely and adequately prepare for a winter storm and/or other weather related situations, please make it a point to visit your local chamber of commerce, fire and police stations, and community resource center. These establishments may have other resources and items that pertain specifically to your area or circumstances!

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