Sheriff's Corner: Winter hazards
Winter hazards can strike before you're ready and we have to ask ourselves if we're ready when it does. The past few years have seen cities like New York, Philadelphia and Washington shut-down by blizzards. Granted they aren't the seasoned winter...
Winter hazards can strike before you're ready and we have to ask ourselves if we're ready when it does. The past few years have seen cities like New York, Philadelphia and Washington shut-down by blizzards. Granted they aren't the seasoned winter people we are, a couple of inches of snow can cause problems. If the roads were impassable, could you survive at home for several days?
Preparing for winter isn't complicated or expensive. While winter is dangerous, a few simple steps can help you and your family stay safe this season.
1. Know your risk
Blizzards, ice storms and freezing temperatures can be a killer for the unprepared. Make sure that you're aware of the risk that winter brings. Here's what you need to know:
- A few inches of snow or ice can shut down a city and leave you trapped at home for days.
- Driving on ice- and snow-covered roads can lead to car crashes, injuries and death.
- Snow, ice and wind associated with winter storms can have a huge impact on travel, infrastructure, schools and businesses.
- Some winter storms can cover nearly half the nation, affecting tens of millions of people. Annually, damages from winter storms add up to over $1 billion.
- Frostbite may develop on exposed skin when temperatures are below freezing. Add wind to below freezing temperatures and frostbite can set in even quicker.
2. Take action
- While the weather outside might be brutal, it doesn't mean that you're powerless and you can't do anything about it. Prepare for winter with these simple steps:
- Before you go out, check the forecast to make sure you're prepared for the elements.
- Have plenty of food, water, prescription medications and other supplies. Also consider obtaining a weather radio. They are relatively inexpensive and are nice to have when needed.
- Make sure your cellphone is fully charged when a storm is approaching and also anytime you're planning to leave the house. It could become your life-line should disaster strike.
- In your car: make sure you have food, water and blankets in your trunk. Stay off the road when advised to do so by local authorities.
- Dress for the season: wear loose, warm clothing in layers. Things happen when you least expect it.
- Don't forget your pets! Keep them inside during cold weather.
- During and after the storm: never use a generator or kerosene heater indoors - carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent killer.
As I've always said, please slow down, use common sense, don't drink and drive and wear your seatbelt.