Winter is a beautiful time of the year; however, winter weather conditions can create dangerous situations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides several winter safety tips that can help you prepare for freezing temperatures. When it comes to preparing your home, car, and family during the winter months, safeguard yourself with these winter safety tips.
Prepare your home
- Winterize your home with sound insulation. Use caulk and weather-strip frames for your 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 the manufacturer’s instructions. Protect your home with tips and tools from the U.S. Fire Administration.
- Have your furnace system and vents inspected by a qualified technician to confirm they are functioning properly.
- Check the batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
- Keep an emergency kit in your home that includes nonperishable food, water, flashlights, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, extra medicine, and baby items, if necessary.
Prepare your car
- Make sure your tires have enough tread and check the air pressure for winter driving.
- Keep your gas tank full to help prevent ice in the tank and fuel lines.
- Replace your 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 engaging in 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, and head well covered.
- Avoid overexertion when engaging in outdoor tasks, such as shoveling snow. Take breaks when you feel tired or strained.
- 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 water.
- Sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy patches.
- Be prepared for an emergency. Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Seek emergency help right away if numbness or pain doesn’t go away.
Taking preventive action is your best defense against having to deal with extreme cold-weather conditions. By preparing your home, car, and family in advance for winter emergencies, and by observing safety precautions during times of extremely cold weather, you can reduce the risk of weather-related health problems. For more winter weather safety tips, visit the CDC website.