Winter Tips

Have a Plan

Before a storm comes, have extra blankets on hand and ensure that each member of your household has a warm coat, gloves or mittens, a warm hat and warm, water-resistant boots.

During a storm, avoid going outside. If you must, wear several layers of lightweight clothing this will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from cold air and debris.

Protect Your Home in the Winter

Adhere to the following tips to ensure that your home is safe for the winter months:

  • Have your furnace checked for winter operation
  • Have your fireplace flue or wood stove flue cleaned when creosote builds up to one-eighth of an inch
  • Give space heaters a 36-inch empty space between heater and anything else, especially combustible things like furniture, drapes, papers and people
  • Never use an extension cord with a portable heater because it is a common cause of fires
  • Check cords on appliances and lamps
  • Replace frayed or cracked cords. If the cord gets hot, have the appliance checked out
  • Purchase a carbon monoxide detector for your home if fossil fuels (wood, natural gas etc.) are used for heating (furnace, water heater, fireplace etc.)
  • Store flammable liquids in approved safety containers. Flammable vapors are produced at cool temperatures and can be ignited easily
  • Make and practice a home escape plan with your family. Knowing what to do if a fire occurs can save your life and the lives of your family. Know two ways out of each living space (living room, kitchen, family room, bedrooms, etc.) and have a meeting place outside

Traveling By Car

You should avoid traveling by car in a storm, but if you must:

  • Carry an emergency preparedness kit in your car.
  • Keep your cars gas tank full.
  • Let someone know your destination, route and estimated time of arrival.

If you become stranded in a vehicle:

  • Stay with your car. Do not try to walk to safety.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) to the antenna for rescuers to see.
  • Start the car and run the heater for about 10 minutes every hour.
  • Make sure that snow is not covering the exhaust pipe which could cause carbon monoxide to build up in the car or cause an engine malfunction.
  • Keep one window (away from the wind) slightly open to let air in and prevent the buildup of deadly carbon monoxide gas.
  • Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so that you can be seen.
  • As you sit, move your arms and legs to keep blood circulating and to stay warm.

If you shovel snow after the storm, be careful not to overexert yourself. Strenuous activity in cold weather can put a strain on your heart.