Winter is a beautiful time of the year. However, frigid temperatures and winter weather conditions can also make it dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a number of winter safety tips to help prepare you for the upcoming months’ freezing temperatures. When it comes to preparing your home, car, and family during the winter months, safeguard yourself with these following winter safety tips.
Prepare Your Home
- Winterize your home with sound insulation. Caulk and weather-strip frames, doors, and windows.
- Heat your home safely. If you plan to use a wood stove, fireplace, or portable space heater, be extremely careful and follow manufacturer’s instructions. Protect your home with tips and tools from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and United States Fire Administration (USFA).
- Have your furnace system and vents checked by a qualified technician to ensure they are functioning properly.
- Check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and replace batteries as necessary.
- Keep an emergency kit in your home that includes nonperishable food, water, flashlights, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, extra prescription medications, and, depending on your family, baby items and basic pet supplies.
Prepare Your Vehicle
- Make sure your tires have enough tread and check the air pressure for winter driving.
- Keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
- Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
- Check antifreeze levels and have the radiator system serviced.
- Equip your car with an emergency kit that includes water, snacks, first-aid kit, blankets, flashlight, extra batteries, portable cell phone charger, and emergency flares.
Prepare Your Family
- Check the air temperature and wind-chill factor before doing any outdoor activities.
- When participating in outdoor recreation, take a buddy and carry a cell phone.
- Dress in layers of light and warm clothing. Keep your feet, hands, head, and ears well covered.
- Avoid overexertion when engaging in outdoor tasks, such as shoveling snow. Take frequent breaks whenever you feel tired or strained. If you experience chest pain or discomfort, stop whatever task you are doing.
- If you have pets, bring them indoors. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they have access to unfrozen water.
- Sprinkle sand or a pet-safe ice melter on your driveway or sidewalk’s icy patches.
- Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. If you or a family member is experiencing numbness or pain that doesn’t go away, seek emergency help right away.
Taking preventive action is your best defense against extreme cold-weather conditions. For more winter weather safety tips, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.