Winter is a time of year that we need to careful and prepare simple safety tips. This year has been a particularly cold winter in so many places. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Prepare your home and family:
- Review and update your family emergency plan. This is a great time to replenish your emergency supply kits, batteries, and emergency information.
- Have extra blankets on hand.
- Winterize your home, barn, and any other structures that provide shelter for your family, livestock, pets, or equipment.
- Have a sufficient supply of heating fuel.
- Insulate pipes and allow faucets to drip during the cold weather to avoid freezing.
- Learn how to shut off water valves in case the pipes burst.
- Move plants inside or cover with frost coverings or blankets.
- Keep fire extinguishers full and on hand and make sure everyone in the house knows how to use them.
- DO NOT bring heating devices into the house that are intended for outdoor use. They can quickly produce carbon monoxide.
Prepare your pets:
- Keep cats indoors during the cold weather. Sometimes outdoor cats can sleep under the hoods of cars during the cold weather. Be sure to check or tap on the hood before getting into your vehicle.
- Don’t let your dog off leash on snow or ice (especially during a snow storm) – they can lose their sense of smell and this risks a chance of injury or they can become lost. Make sure you have ID tags on them.
- Be sure to thoroughly wipe off their stomachs and legs after coming in from the snow. There can be dangerous substances like antifreeze that has become encrusted in ice.
- Don’t shave your dog in winter.
- Never leave your dog or cat alone in the car during cold weather. A car can be like a refrigerator.
- Make sure your faithful companion has a warm place to sleep with a cozy bed, warm blanket, or pillow.
Recognizing symptoms of exposure, seek medical attention if:
- Confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and shivering are signs of hypothermia.
- Gray, white, or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy skins are symptoms of frostbite.
- In case of overexposure to freezing temperatures, remove wet clothing and immediately warm the body with a blanket or warm fluids. Avoid caffeine or alcohol.
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