Depending on where you live, winter (and winter storms) are either already here or just around the bend.
Unfortunately, for many Americans, that means an onslaught of ice, snow and cold weather that can present safety hazards.
Here are a few emergency preparedness tips that may help you get ready for this year’s winter wonderland:
Snowstorms – Ice Storms – Blizzards
Know the weather forecast at all times so you can plan to be off the roads and in safe locations when winter storms hit. If you get stuck travelling during a snowstorm, optimize emergency preparedness by stocking your trunk with the following items: a cell phone or two-way radio, windshield scraper, snow brush, flashlight with extra batteries, shovel, tow chain, emergency flares, jumper cables, snacks and bottled water.
Establish winter storm contingency plans in case your home loses power. Ensure battery or generator backup for any medical need requiring electricity. If you lack a generator, keep an alternate resource for charging cell phones. Other winter safety tips include stocking nonperishable food and water and warm blankets.
Dress for conditions, with warm layers and covered skin, if you must go outside. A wind chill of -20 Fahrenheit can cause frostbite to exposed skin within 30 minutes, and hypothermia can kick in if your core body temperature drops below 95 F. Emergency preparedness calls for being able to recognize the signs of both so you know when to seek medical attention.
Melting and Flooding
Many aren't aware that winter safety tips should also include flood preparedness. Stay aware of pending flood zones in your area and learn evacuation routes and the locations of emergency shelters. Have a solid plan for quickly packing and carrying pets, important documents, valuables and vital medical supplies. Know how to turn off your power, water and gas as needed.
Did You Know? Included with the Swift911™ emergency notification system, the weather alert wizard monitors real-time weather information while automatically notifying contacts using real-time data direct from the National Weather Service.