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Winter Weather Reminders
With winter weather conditions already making themselves felt across much of the United States, even this early in the season, it is never too late to remind folks of some of the more vital safety measures that can and should be taken during the winter months. Winter storms may bring snow, sleet, ice, and freezing rain, any one of which is enough to pretty much ruin your day unless you are adequately prepared. This includes your property and your person. When it comes to winter storms, remember the following:
If you are inside during the winter storm or severe weather, stay there. Going outside for extended periods without proper preparation can prove hazardous to your health. Have access to a radio or TV in order to remain current on rapidly changing weather conditions. Be sure to eat regularly and drink plenty of fluids; however, do all you can to avoid caffeine and alcohol. When you are using space heaters and fireplaces or other heating units, be sure to use proper safeguards in order to prevent accidental fires. A significant percentage of residential fires during the winter can basically be traced back to space heaters or other similar units.
If you do not have heat, then close off unneeded rooms, stuff towels under the doors and cover the windows in order to retain as much heat as possible. Maintain proper ventilation when using space heaters in order to avoid the buildup of toxic fumes. Refuel these heaters outside and keep them distant from flammable objects. Conserve fuel whenever possible by keeping your residence cooler than normal. It may not be exactly comfortable, but it will help your fuel supply go a lot further.
If you are caught outside during winter weather, remember that people, pets, and livestock are all subject to frostbite and hypothermia. Symptoms of such are numbness, drowsiness, shivering, stumbling around, slurred speech and a pale appearance. Keep as warm as possible and do all you can to ward off going to sleep.
When shoveling snow, avoid overexertion, as this can bring on a heart attack. Heart attacks are the major cause of death during the winter. Stretch and warm up before going outside to perform any work of this sort.
If your clothing gets wet, remove it. It is easy to work up a sweat while shoveling snow or trying to dislodge a stuck vehicle, and sweat in freezing conditions may cause hypothermia. Cover your mouth in order to protect your lungs from extremely cold air, and wear layers of loose clothing instead of one single thick layer. Use mittens instead of gloves, as they provide better protection from inclement weather.
Winter time can be a wondrous, beautiful and enjoyable time of year. Do not let it become a source of tragedy. Take appropriate precautions for you and your loved ones when the weather turns cold. Stay one step ahead of severe weather whenever possible.