Keep in mind severe weather safety tips for winter storm, extreme cold safety
While danger from severe and winter weather varies, individuals and families may face challenges with heat, power and communications services.
It is important to be prepared for family safety and to also protect your property from damage.
Paul Davis, a provider of fire and water damage clean up and restoration services offers the following winter weather safety tips.
Stay indoors and keep dry. If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Wear mittens, a hat, and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
Walk carefully on snowy, icy walkways. Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow.
Drive only if absolutely necessary. Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive.
If a blizzard or cold weather traps you in the car, pull off the highway. Turn on hazard lights and hang a distress flag from the radio antenna or window.
Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia which include loss of feeling, pale appearance, uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.
In case of power outage, have a battery or hand-crank powered weather radio and flashlights available if needed. Never use candles as a source of heat or light.
When using electric heaters keep at least three feet from flammable objects. Conserve fuel by keeping your home and office cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms. If you will be going away, leave the heat no lower than 55ºF.
Do not use the stove, oven or grill as a source of heat for your home.
Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power or heat during periods of extreme cold. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area.
If a pipe bursts, shut off the water supply to the building.
Take Action - Know the specific hazards and risks in your area.
Create a Family Emergency Plan - Know how to communicate during an emergency.
Build an Emergency Ready Kit - both at home and in the car - that includes at least three days of water, food and first aid supplies to help you survive if you lose power or get stranded in your car.
Be an example - Be a positive influence in your community by sharing your preparedness story on social media to help others learn how to prepare for an emergency.
Get involved - Find out how you can promote preparedness in your community through the American Red Cross and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
Contact a property damage restoration expert for damaged pipes and repairs along with checking the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow or water.
Paul Davis also recommends the following items to have on hand and prepared for a basic emergency kit:
Water - one gallon per person per day for at least three days
Food - include packaged, non-perishable food
Clothing - change of clothing and a sleeping bag for each person
Radio - battery-powered or hand crank radio, a NOAA Weather Radio
Cell phone and charger
Batteries - for the flashlight, radio and any other electronics
First aid kit - sterile gloves, adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment, gauze pads, iodine/alcohol pads, medical tape, pain reliever, emergency Mylar blanket, thermometer, prescription medications and supplies
Portable waterproof containers - for IDs, insurance policies, bank account records, site maps, employee contacts, computer backup files, emergency and law enforcement information, and priority documents. Store a second set of records off-site.