Catawba County News
Cold can kill...Be Winter Ready
Published: December 14, 2023
Cold can kill…. Be Winter Ready.
Have you given much thought on how being prepared for Winter Weather may look differently than preparedness for flooding, tornados or most other emergencies? While it’s important to be prepared for all types of disasters or emergencies, Winter weather has the potential to impact ALLof Catawba County, and even the surrounding counties, at the same time. Here are some basic tips to better protect you and your family from Winter weather events.
STAY INSIDE or limit your time outside. Cold can kill. Be sure to dress in layers and cover your skin. Layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing will keep you warmer than one bulky layer. Learn the signs of hypothermia and frostbite, and how to treat them at Redcross.org. Outdoor activities like shoveling snow can be very strenuous and can increase your risk for a cardiac event. The American Heart Association says that shoveling snow can be as demanding on your heart as taking a stress test. If you must go outside, know your limits, take frequent breaks and be familiar with the common signs of heart trouble at Heart.org.
STAY HOME or take extra precautions if you must travel. Roads may be icy or even blocked by downed power lines or fallen trees. Stay off the roads during and after the storm to reduce the chance of being in a collision, getting stranded in your car or impeding emergency vehicles, power crews or Department of Transportation road clearing efforts. If you do have to travel, ensure you have an emergency kit in your vehicle. The National Safety Council has some recommendations for a Vehicle Emergency Kit.
STAY INFORMED & SAFE. Entire communities can be without power for days or weeks. Be prepared before that happens and make good decisions during and after the storm.
- Listen to local TV & radio for weather forecast. Follow Catawba County social media sites and sign up for Community Alerts.
- Have enough emergency supplies to be self-sufficient for at least 3 days (72 hours). If you don’t already have a kit, check out Ready.gov on how to make one.
- If you heat your home with propane, fuel oil or even a wood stove, top off tanks or stock up before the storms hits. If you have a generator, be sure it is in proper working condition and topped off with fuel. Never run generators inside your home or close to windows or doors. Never use outdoor grills or propane heaters that are designed for outdoors. Improper use of supplemental heating equipment or generators can result in carbon monoxide(CO) poisoning. CO can be deadly and has no odor, so it is called a silent killer. It is best that you have a working CO detector installed in your home and know how to recognize CO poisoning.
- Prep your home for the cold. Apply caulk or weather stripping to doors or windows that do not seal properly. Consider adding more insulation to attics or crawl spaces. Take steps to prevent pipes from freezing. Click here for a short video on preventing pipes from freezing.
Help your family and co-workers to be prepared for Winter weather by printing this FEMA Fact Sheet and displaying it at home or in the office.