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Surviving Winter Storms

While they may be beautiful, winter storms can also be dangerous. They create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Use these tips to keep you, your family and your pets safe during winter storms.
Before the storm…
  1. Sign up for local alerts and warnings.
  2. Be prepared for a power outage by having emergency supplies like flashlight, portable radio and three days' supply of food. Ask yourself what you, your family, or pets would need if you did not have access to a grocery store or pharmacy for at least three days.
  3. Create an emergency car kit containing items such as jumper cables, ice scrapers, blankets, cat litter and water.
  4. Make sure your vehicle is winterized with a full tank of gas, good winter tires, new wiper blades and winter formula washer fluid.

During the storm…
  1.  Stay indoors if possible. If you must go outdoors, dress warmly and wear loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing. Wear a scarf over your mouth to protect your lungs.

  1. Watch for signs of hypothermia, including uncontrollable shivering, weak pulse, disorientation, incoherence and/or drowsiness, and frostbite including gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness and waxy feeling skin.
  2. Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows. Never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven.
  3. Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow to reduce the risk of heart attack.
  4. To prevent frozen pipes, let your hot and cold faucets drip and open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks on exterior walls.
  5. Never attempt to charge or jump-start a car battery that is frozen, as it may rupture or explode.
  6. Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  7. Keep your pets inside.
  8. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang on the hood of your car before starting the engine to give them a chance to escape.
  9. The ASPCA suggests wiping your dog's legs and stomach down when they come in from snowy or icy conditions. Dogs can ingest salt, anti-freeze and other chemicals when licking their paws.

Do you have any tips we forgot to mention? Leave them in the comments.