Winter weather tips from the Red Cross

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A winter storm is bringing several inches of snow, high winds, and dangerously cold temperatures and wind chills to the Western and Central New York Region.

The American Red Cross has steps you should take to stay safe if you are in the path of winter storms.

“Winter weather poses unique challenges to people faced with bitter cold, snow and ice,” said Alan Turner II, American Red Cross, Western and Central New York Regional CEO. “Whether trying to 
keep your home warm or having to be outside in the cold, you can follow these steps to get through 
the storm.”

HEAT YOUR HOME SAFELY

It’s that time of year when many people resort to space heaters and other sources to keep their 
homes warm. Home heating is the second leading cause of fires in this country. To reduce the risk 
of heating related fires, the Red Cross recommends these steps (More home fire safety information 
available here):

  • All heaters need space. Keep children, pets and things that can burn (paper, matches, bedding, furniture, clothing, carpets, and rugs) at least three feet away from heating equipment.
  • If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs, carpets or near bedding or drapes. Plug power cords directly into outlets – never into an extension cord.
  • Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended, and use a glass or metal fire screen to keep fire and embers in the fireplace.
  • Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
  • Turn off portable space heaters every time you leave the room or go to sleep.

STAY SAFE DURING WINTER WEATHER

  • Wear layers of clothing, a hat, mittens and waterproof, insulated boots.
  • Be careful when tackling strenuous tasks like shoveling snow in cold temperatures.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
  • Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
  • Watch for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.

WINTER TRAVEL SAFETY

Stay off the road if possible during severe weather. If you must drive in winter weather, follow 
these tips:

  • Make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road.
  • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.
  • Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
  • Don’t pass snow plows.
  • Ramps, bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways.

DOWNLOAD APPS People can download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to weather alerts for their area and where loved ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any mishaps. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; 
supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides 
international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is 
a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public 
to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org
or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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