EXTREME TEMPERATURES - WINTER
Preparing for a Winter Storm
- Stock up on food, water, medicines and heating fuel.
- Secure back-up heat sources, such as kerosene heaters. Never use charcoal, gas or propane heaters indoors.
- Buy bags of rock salt and sand for use on icy walkways.
- Weather-strip windows and doors to help seal out the cold.
During and after a Winter Storm
- Conserve heating fuel by shutting off unused rooms.
- Wear several layers of clothing and a hat outdoors. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
- Don't overexert yourself while shoveling snow.
- Watch for signs of frostbite; loss of feeling along with paleness in tip of nose, fingers, toes and ear lobes.
- Beware of hypothermia. Signs include uncontronable shivering, slurred speech, drowsiness, memory loss and disorientation.
- Avoid driving a night or alone. Notify others of your schedule and route.
If Your Vehicle is Stranded in a Blizzard
- Pull off the road and turn on your hazard lights.
- Do not start walking unless you can see a building.
- If no buildings are in sight, stay in your vehicle.
- Wrap yourself in blankets, or use seat covers, floor mats and maps.
- Run the engine for 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. Open a window slightly for ventilation.
- Balance use of a heater and lights to conserve the battery.
- If stuck in a remote location, spell out "HELP" or "SOS" with rocks or branches.
Winterize Your Vehicle
- Check the wipers, battery, heater, defroster, ignition system, lights, oil and tire pressure.
- Consider purchasing snow tires or chains.
- Pack a winter emergency kit with a window scraper, blankets, battery-powered radio, flashlight, water, snack food, tow chain
or rope, shovel and flares.
For Your Information
- Freezing Rain - Rain that freezes on contact with roads, trees, sidewalks, etc.
- Sleet - Rain that freezes before hitting the ground.
- Winter Storm Watch - A winter storm is possible in the area.
- Blizzard Warning - Winds or gusts 35 mph or greater, along with snow, are expected to last 3 hours or more.
- Winter Storm Warning - A winter storm is occurring or will begin soon.
- Frost/Freeze Warning - Temperatures are expected to drop below freezing.
Information provided by the Virginia Office of EMS Emergency Prepardness Guide.
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