Winter weather can be a hazard if you aren’t prepared. Planning can help keep you safe and healthy to handle the winter hazards. At the start of the season, it’s a good idea to prepare your home and vehicle for outdoor winter activity and even power outages. We all know that winter is coming, but most of us don’t take the time to make sure we are ready for the, sometimes harsh, effects of the season. When you set aside time to plan, you are more likely to stay safe and healthy as the temperatures start to fall and the winter hazards present themselves.
How to Prepare Your Home for Winter Hazards
When the cold strikes, most of us want to stay inside. As you think of your cozy home, it’s hard to imagine that you aren’t always guaranteed to be safe. Power outages and bitter cold can affect your ability to stay safe, even if you think you are tucked safely inside. Here are some important steps to keep your home safe and warm during winter months:
Winterize your home
Install weather stripping, check insulation, and swap out your storm windows
Turn off outdoor faucets and insulate any water lines that are located on an exterior wall
Clean gutters and check your roof for leaks
Check your heating system
Have your furnace professionally serviced to make sure it is working properly before the winter hazards hit (note that some service agencies are booked well in advance, so plan ahead)
Have all fireplaces and chimneys cleaned and checked
Check all smoke detectors and be sure to replace batteries twice a year
Have back up heating alternatives and extra fuel available
Install carbon monoxide detectors to alert you of the presence of CO
Check batteries on previously installed CO detectors
Learn the symptoms of CO poisoning
Prepare Your Vehicle
There is nothing worse than being stranded on the road in the middle of a winter storm. Be sure you have prepared your car for the winter hazards. This will keep you out of danger and help you stay safe if you break down.
Have your radiator serviced
Check tire threads and replace your tires if necessary
Check all fluid levels, especially antifreeze
Keep a full tank of gas
Add a winter formula windshield washer for cold temperatures
Prepare an emergency kit to include a list similar to this:
Cell phone charger and extra batteries
Flashlight with extra batteries
First aid kid
Stock Up in Advance
Weather-related emergencies like power outages can creep up on you. Stay ahead of them by being prepared. Take these precautions:
Keep an extra stock of non-perishable food that doesn’t require cooking
If you are outdoors for work, travel, or hobbies, be sure you are prepared to face the possible winter hazards. Outdoor activities can expose you to safety hazards and they can come upon you quickly. Here are some ways you can stay prepared:
Wear appropriate clothing for the weather. Wind and water-resistant coats should be worn. Dress in layers. Use gloves, hats, scarves, and boots to stay warm.
Treat icy patches with sand or salt
Work slowly when shoveling and take frequent breaks
Keep an emergency kid handy
Carry a cell phone in case you need to call for help
Winter hazards can lead to serious emergency. Be sure you plan and are prepared for the harsh effects of a cold winter. Check on family and neighbors and keep a close eye on young children. If you have pets, keep them inside when it gets cold. No one wants to think about the frigid temperatures that lie ahead, but when you think and plan you will be ready when the storm hits.
EMT certification available in the evenings and during the day. EMT/EMR refresher courses and Safe Sitter programs are also available..