Top Ten Red Cross Cold Weather Safety Tips

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As temperatures drop this winter, the American Red Cross offers ten steps people can take to stay safe during the cold weather.

  1. Layer up! Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.
  2. Don’t forget your furry friends. Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
  3. Remember the three feet rule. If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.
  4. Requires supervision – Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
  5. Don’t catch fire! If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
  6. Protect your pipes. Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
  7. Better safe than sorry. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.
  8. The kitchen is for cooking. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
  9. Use generators outside. Never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
  10. Knowledge is power. Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

For more information on how to stay safe during the cold weather, visit winter storm safety.

Are You Ready for Winter?

Tips provided by: Wisconsin Emergency Management

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“Get an emergency kit in your car. It could save your life”

Governor Scott Walker has declared November 4-8, 2013 as Winter Awareness Week in Wisconsin.  The annual campaign, sponsored by Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM), its ReadyWisconsin preparedness program and NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS), is to remind people to be prepared for winter conditions that could threaten their safety.

“The number one thing to do: make sure you have an emergency supply kit in your car – it could save your life,” says Brian Satula, Wisconsin Emergency Management Administrator

winter_car_kitReadyWisconsin will air Television and Radio Public Service Announcements in November, urging viewers and listeners to keep an emergency kit in their vehicles. Starting November 1st, Wisconsin residents can sign up for a chance to win a winter survival kit on the ReadyWisconsin website: readywisconsin.wi.gov.

Winter storms are considered deceptive killers because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. For example, in the last five years Wisconsin has averaged 50,000 motor vehicle crashes during winter months. An average of 45 people are killed and more than 5,000 injured on icy or snow-covered roads.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is also a danger. According to the Centers for Disease Control, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States, with more than 20,000 people visiting the emergency room and nearly 500 killed each year from overexposure to the gas.

Now is the time to winterize your car and home, gather items for an emergency kit in your car, and make sure you have a NOAA Weather Radio with fresh batteries. Additional winter weather tips and how to put together a winter emergency kit are available at the ReadyWisconsin website. or www.redcross.org  In addition, there are numerous winter storm maps and a history of Wisconsin’s winter weather produced by the National Weather Service.

We Knew it Was Going to Come Sometime….SNOW!!

Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind­driven snow that lasts for several days. Some winter storms are large enough to affect several states, while others affect only a single community. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.

What should I do before a winter storm?

  • Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing, wear mittens and a hat (preferably one that covers your ears).
  • Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non­frozen drinking water.
  • Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • All fuel­burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.

Winter Storm Warning for Northeast Wisconsin

It looks like our worst “spring time” fears have been confirmed here in the Northeast Wisconsin Region. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the entire southern 2/3 of the Region with 6-8 inches of snow expected in and just to the north of theFoxValleyand intoDoorCounty. Lesser amounts are expected to the South in Southern Fond du Lac, Southern Manitowoc, andSheboyganCounties, where a mix of snow, rain, and sleet is expected. Lesser amounts of around 6 inches are also forecast north of Highway 29.

Below is a map from the National Weather Service.

Don’t be caught off guard by winter weather travel disruptions and power outages as this is expected to be extremely wet, heavy snow – Get Prepared!

Blizzard!

Posted on February 1st, 2011 by Wendy Harman, American Red Cross

This weather.com map shows the extent of today’s massive blizzard across the country.

We hope you’ve brushed up on our winter weather tips. Don’t forget to check in on your neighbors!

If you use Twitter, be sure to follow the #blizzard hashtag for news and updates and to use the #Imprepared hashtag to share how you got ready for this storm.  You can also find out what local chapters are up to by following this local Red Cross Twitter list.