1 minute readHealth & Safety
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Tips for Bitterly Cold Temps and Winter Storms

As many of us face a bitterly cold weekend, take some time to make sure you, your home, your neighbors and your pets are all taken care of as winter marches on.

YOU

  • Wear layers of clothing to stay warm, along with a hat, mittens and waterproof, insulated boots.
  • Watch out for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.

 YOUR HOME

  • Avoid frozen pipes – run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent them from freezing. 
  • Never use a stove or oven to heat your home. If using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep children and anything flammable at least three feet away.
  • Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed. If using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
  • Never use a generator indoors, even in a garage, carport, basement or crawlspace. Fumes from the generator can be deadly.

PETS AND NEIGHBORS

  • Don’t forget your pets – bring them indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.

YOUR CAR

  • If your car breaks down, do not try to walk to safety. Tie a bright cloth to the antenna. Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour, making sure the exhaust pipe is clear. Keep one window away from the wind slightly open.

Here are some great reminders as you prepare for freezing temperatures and winter storms:

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ONE FINAL TIP

Download the American Red Cross First Aid App for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available in your app store. See all Red Cross apps at redcross.org/mobileapps.