Be ready for winter – indoors and out

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When winter arrives, will you be ready? Being prepared for winter weather is more than having a warm coat and boots in your closet. No matter where you live, you can be prepared and safe all winter long with a few tips from

•  Use space heaters carefully. Keep them out of reach of little ones. Space heaters get very hot and can burn children’s hands. In addition, some may cause a fire if they are within five feet of furniture or draperies. Keep a working fire extinguisher near space heaters.

•  Have a family plan. Talk to each member of your household about where to go and what to do if you are separated when a storm strikes. Have cell phone numbers programmed into your phones. Keep supplies like blankets and extra food and water in each car.

•  Be aware of carbon monoxide. Anything that runs on gasoline, propane, or kerosene should never be used inside your home or garage. This includes generators, heaters, camp stoves, and grills. They can give off carbon monoxide, which can be deadly. Only use these outdoors and at least 20 feet away from your home.

•  Get your vehicle serviced. Before bad weather comes, get any problems, the battery and antifreeze checked out. Top off fluid levels...Make sure you have good windshield wiper blades.

•  Consider getting a NOAA radio. This can run on batteries if the power goes out and will alert you to a variety of weather hazards.

•  Stay inside. Many people end up with frostbite or injuries from trying to shovel snow during very cold weather. If you can, postpone shoveling until it’s safe to go outside. If you must go outdoors, take frequent breaks indoors to warm up.


Signs of frostbite

Frostbite is a dangerous condition that can lead to permanent skin damage or even loss of a limb, according to the Centers for Disease Control  and Prevention. Signs of frostbite include:

•  Numbness

•  White or grayish skin color

•  Skin that feels hard or waxy

•  Slurred speech

•  Confusion


If you think you have frostbite, get inside to a warm area as soon as possible. Loosen or remove wet or tight clothing. Remove jewelry. You may immerse the affected skin in warm water. Do not rub or massage the area. Don’t use hot stoves or heating pads, as the skin can easily burn. Get medical help as soon as possible.



No matter where you live, it’s wise to be prepared for weather emergencies. Be ready for old man winter before he takes you by surprise.

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