wintertrees

Winter storms can be deceptive killers because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm.  Traffic accidents, heart attacks while moving snow, and hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold can all be deadly. Everyone is at risk for these.

The actual threat to you can vary. Most deaths related to ice and snow are in vehicles and others that just happen to get caught out in the storm.  About half the people that die each year due to winter weather exposure are over 60 and were at home!

Preparedness is your key to surviving winter weather!  Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe:

  • At home and work, the main concerns are loss of heat, power and phone service, and running out of supplies.

Stock up on:

  • Flashlights and plenty of batteries.
  • Have a battery powered AM/FM rado and a NOAA Weather Radio for emergency information.  This may be your only link to the outside world.
  • Extra food and water.  High energy food like dried fruit or bread and food that requires no refridgeration or cooking would be best.
  • Extra medicine and baby items.
  • Supplies for first aid.
  • Heating fuel if your home uses this.  You may not be able to get a resupply for a long time.
  • An emergency heating source such as a fireplace, wood stove or space heater.  Use them correctly to prevent a fire hazard.
  • Check your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers to make sure they are in proper working order.

For travel concerns, plan for winter weather potential.  Be alert of the latest weather conditions IN ADVANCE of winter storms!  Keep your gas tank as full as possible and make sure your vehicle is winterized before the first winter episode hits!  Avoid traveling alone and let someone know your plans.

If a winter storm is threatening your travel route, have the following winter storm survival items with you:

  • Blankets and/or sleeping bags.
  • Flashlights and extra batteries.
  • First Aid Kit.
  • Knife.
  • Food that is high energy and non-perishable.
  • Extra dry clothing.
  • Water proof matches you can use to melt snow for drinking water
  • Sack of sand (in case you get stuck)
  • Shovel (in case you’re still stuck)
  • Windshield scraper and brush
  • Tool Kit
  • Tow Rope/Strap/Chain
  • Booster Cables
  • Water Container
  • Waterproof container for tissue and paper towels.  Those really large resealable baggies work wonders!
  • Compass and road maps (everything starts looking the same in heavy snowfall)

If you live on a farm:

  • Move animals to a sheltered area where possible.
  • Make sure you are stocked up on feed BEFORE winter weather hits.
  • Provide extra feed to nearby feeding areas.
  • Have a water supply available.  Most animal deaths in winter storm are from dehydration.

Aside from the above tips, be sure to dress appropriately!  Wear loose fitting, light weight, and warm clothing in several layers.  Trapped air insulates your body.  Layers can then be removed to avoid sweating and then getting chilled.  Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellant, and hooded.  Wear a hat.  Significant body heat loss occurs through the head.  Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold temps.  Mittens that are snug at the wrist are better than gloves.  Try to stay drive.

Now that you are all prepared, ENJOY THIS WINTER!

Comment below and tell me your winter horror stories!

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