December 20, 2022

You know what winter weather means: cold temperatures, snow, ice and dangerous road conditions! Be sure you are keeping yourself and your loved ones safe this holiday season by following these winter weather tips:

Travel

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), most winter storm-related deaths are caused by vehicle accidents due to ice and snow. It only takes a small amount of snow or ice for hazardous road conditions to form. Use these tips to make sure you are safe in your vehicle this winter:

  • Consider getting your vehicle inspected by a mechanic before the winter season. Have them look at the vehicle’s brakes, heater, defroster, tires and windshield wipers.
  • Filling up your vehicle’s gasoline tank before a winter storm can help lower the chance of fuel freezing.
  • Try keeping an emergency kit in your vehicle for emergencies. It’s also a good idea to keep water, food/snacks, blankets and warm clothes in your vehicle just in case.
  • When driving in hazardous conditions, drive below the posted speed limit, leaving more space between you and other vehicles. Consider using your hazard lights as well.
  • If you find yourself stranded, do not leave your vehicle – it can protect you from harsh weather conditions.

Extreme Temperatures

Understanding and practicing proper cold weather safety can save lives. Remember these quick tips in extreme temperatures:

  • When venturing out in cold temperatures, be sure to wear warm clothing and limit your exposure as much as possible. Cover your extremities and bare skin with a hat, coat, gloves, pants, socks and closed-toed shoes.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible and minimize travel if conditions are extreme. If you find yourself unable to avoid the extreme temperatures due to work or other obligations, bundle up and take frequent breaks in a warm shelter.
  • Illnesses, such as hypothermia, can occur at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Be aware of the warning signs: numbness, extremely low energy, discolored skin and fumbling hands. If you notice any of these symptoms seek shelter and medical attention immediately.

Awareness

There are six National Weather Service offices that cover Indiana and provide weather condition updates. Before traveling or spending time outside, take the time to learn which office covers your county and how the current weather conditions in your area could impact you. Learn more about the NWS Coverage in Indiana here.

Storm Preparedness

Preparation is key when it comes to winter storms. If you know there is potential for a storm, follow these tips to be sure you are prepared at home:

  • Stock up on extra food and water (prior to the storm) in case travel becomes too dangerous.
  • Create an emergency preparedness kit.
  • Know how to shut off water valves properly if a pipe were to burst due to extreme cold.
  • Take breaks often when shoveling snow. About 100 people die every year from heart attacks they endured while shoveling snow.
  • Have your fireplace or wood stove cleaned to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • During power outages, go to the most insulated and interior room.

Don’t get caught unprepared in a winter storm this season – take action and be prepared ahead of time! For more winter weather safety tips visit https://www.in.gov/dhs/get-prepared/nature-safety/winter-weather-preparedness/.

Weekly Recipe

Grilled Chicken Salad with Seasonal Fruit

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