Mind and Body: Stay safe during winter weather

Published 2:34 pm Monday, December 19, 2016

Winter weather is here. To be safe, there are some precautions that we can take inside our home and outdoors. Below are safety tips from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention that can help us all stay safe during the snowy, cold days ahead of us.

Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages. Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers. Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including:

— Battery-operated devices, such as a flashlight, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and lamps;

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— extra batteries;

— first-aid kit and extra medicine;

— baby items; and

— cat litter or sand for icy walkways.

Winterize your home by installind weather stripping, insulation and storm windows; insulating water lines that run along exterior walls; and cleaning out gutters and repairing roof leaks.

Check your heating systems. Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly and ventilated to the outside. Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys. Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly. Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.

Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies.

— Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check batteries regularly.

— Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headaches, nausea, and disorientation

Get your car ready for cold weather use before winter arrives. Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level; check tire tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires. Keep gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.

Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. Include: blankets; food and water; booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction); compass and maps; flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries; first-aid kit; and plastic bags (for sanitation).

When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions. Avoid traveling when the weather service has issued advisories. If you must travel, inform a friend or relative of your proposed route and expected time of arrival. Follow these safety rules if you become stranded in your car. Stay with your car unless safety is no more than 100 yards away, but continue to move arms and legs. Stay visible by putting bright cloth on the antenna, turning on the inside overhead light (when engine is running), and raising the hood when snow stops falling. Run the engine and heater only 10 minutes every hour.  Keep a downwind window open. Make sure the tailpipe is not blocked.

Clark County Health Department provides programs for the entire family, including WIC, HANDS, family planning, well child care/immunizations, and home health care. For more information, call 744-4482 or visit our website at www.clarkhealthdept.org. You can also “like” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Clark-County-Health-Department. Follow us on Twitter @CCHealthDept.

Information referenced from http://www.cdc.gov/features/winterweather.