Have a Safe Winter!

Girl making a snow angelIf you are an avid winter sportsman or want to see Powder Ridge succeed, you probably love the idea of snow! However, for the rest of us, snow is an inconvenience and a nuisance! Since there will undoubtedly be more storms this winter, it is important to be prepared for bad weather, especially if you have a condition that requires special medications or assistance. Don’t wait until the next prediction of a snowstorm to begin preparations.  Start today! 

  • If there is a medication that you must take daily, be sure that you always have several days-worth during the winter months. 
  • Prepare for power outages.  Keep on hand a supply of candles, matches, a battery-powered radio, and a flashlight, both with fresh batteries, and an extra supply of food that doesn’t need cooking.  Milk now comes in a box and can be stored in your pantry.  Make a “storm box” (with batteries, food, candles, matches, etc.)  and separate it away from general household use. 
  • Make a winter emergency kit for your car.  Include a small snow shovel, flashlight, flares, sand, or kitty litter, blanket, jumper cables, and a first aid kit.  Some non-perishable food would also be wise. 
  • Keep your car in good working condition.  Bald tires aren’t going to help you much in the snow.  Be sure gas tank has enough fuel.  A properly working heating and defrosting system is very important.  Keep an ice scraper in the car. 
  • Use common sense when snow shoveling.  Shoveling places a great strain on the heart, and if you are not used to exercising, you can have a heart attack, regardless of your age.  (This really does happen!) If you know you can’t shovel snow or ice, make arrangements now to have someone help you.  Call your church or your community services to arrange for help.    
  • Listen to forecast reports so you can be prepared.  If snow is predicted, be sure you have boots, gloves, and a hat in case you get stranded or have to walk a distance. 
  • If bad weather is predicted (or happening!), don’t go anywhere unless it is really a necessity.  Stay where you are until the roads are sanded.  If you are caught out on slippery roads, drive slowly.  You cannot travel at the same speeds as you can when roads are dry.  Remember, if you start to skid, keep your foot off the gas and the brake.  Steer into the direction of the skid.  If you have antilock brakes, learn how to use them on ice.  They work differently than regular brakes. 
  • Walk defensively on ice.  Choose proper footwear that is warm and provides traction.  Avoid over-exhaustion; a simple walk in deep snow can be taxing.  For more on safe walking tips, see Walk like a Penguin.
  • If you know an elderly or homebound person, make it your responsibility to help them prepare for bad weather.  During a storm, try to make contact with them if you can. 
  • Review CDC’s Extreme Cold brochure for more information.

Check out these winter safety checklists!