Tips for Winter Emergencies

    In case of inclement weather and a loss of power, here are some tips of what to do at home if you’re “snowed in.” This post has Tips on what to store, and how to keep your house warmer, and certain dangers involved with emergency procedures. 

Gather Emergency Supplies:
* A battery powered NOAA weather radio and a battery powered commercial radio; extra batteries.
* Food that does not require cooking.
* Store Extra water in clean soda bottles.
* Rock salt to melt ice on walkways or sand to improve traction.
* Flashlights and battery powered lamps and extra batteries in case of a power outage. Candles are a fire hazard. Use Camping lanterns or hurricane lanterns and keep plenty of lantern oil on hand.

Prepare for Possible Isolation in Your Home:
* Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel when applicable.
* Have emergency heating equipment and extra fuel (a gas fireplace or a wood burning stove or fireplace, camp stove powered by propane for cooking purposes, camping lanterns.)
   DO NOT USE YOUR GAS STOVE OR GAS OVEN FOR HEAT – THIS CAN CAUSE CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING AND CAN BE FATAL!
* If you have a fireplace, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood.
* Keep fire extinguishers on hand.
* Listen to the Radio or Television for Weather for Reports and Emergency information. (You’ll need a battery operated radio with spare batteries)
* Dress for the season:
o Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garment should be tightly woven and water repellent.
o Mittens are warmer than gloves.
o Wear a hat; (Even inside) most body heat is lost through the top of the head.
o Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from the cold air.
* Be careful when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack.
* Watch for signs of frostbite – a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.
* Watch for signs of hypothermia – uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get medical help immediately.
* When at home, conserve fuel if necessary by keeping your house cooler than normal. Temporarily “close off” heat to some rooms, having everyone (including pets) in one room will help keep one room warmer. Put blankets over the windows and doorways, especially when the sun is not shining.

Sue Baxter