Winter storms and temperatures can be dangerous. Stay safe by planning ahead and following these 5 key winter safety tips!
Stay Indoors As Much As Possible
The best way to stay safe in a blizzard or a deep freeze is to stay in, which is a great excuse to binge-watch that series you’ve been hearing about or catch up on sleep! If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pets, too, so remember to bring them inside.
If You Have to Shovel, Do It Slowly
Every winter, over a hundred people die from shoveling snow. Cold temperatures put an extra strain on your heart, making over-exertion dangerous. Warm up and use good form while shoveling to avoid potential injury – stay upright to reduce back strain and use your leg muscles. Remember to go slow, take frequent breaks, and hydrate, too!
Know the Symptoms of Frostbite & Hypothermia
Did you know that frostbite can affect uncovered skin in as little as 10 minutes? If your fingers, toes, earlobes, or the tip of your nose become numb and turn a pale shade of yellow or white, get indoors as soon as possible and treat the frostbitten areas by soaking them in warm (not hot!) water for about a half hour.
Exposure to the cold can also cause hypothermia, a dangerous drop in body temperature. If you or anyone around you is shivering and has slurred speech, shallow breathing, and a weak pulse, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
To avoid the above, WebMD recommends that you always wear three loose layers of clothing during severely cold weather: a base layer that can wick away moisture, a middle insulation layer to trap heat, and a waterproof outer layer for protection against the elements. Don’t forget your hat, scarf, and gloves!
Prepare Before You Drive
It’s best to avoid traveling on icy roads or in low visibility conditions, but remember to take precautions if you have no choice. Bring water and a snack, tire chains, LED flashers or flares, and a spare phone charger with you in case of an emergency. Tell a trusted friend or family member about your plans and ask them to check in with you at your expected time of arrival.
Make sure to download our app to keep your inner circle in the loop while traveling!
Avoid These Common Mistakes
Lighting a cozy blaze in your fireplace can make those long winter nights more bearable, but storing wood inside can bring in the bugs and cause an insect invasion. When you head outside and de-ice your car, don’t pour hot water on your windshield as shattering can occur. Most importantly, no matter how cold it gets, never use your oven or an outdoor heater as an indoor heat source. This is both a fire and carbon monoxide hazard and can put your personal safety at risk.
Remember to think it through before you act – it could save time, money, and even your life.
Let us know how you stay safe and warm during the winter in the comments section below or on Twitter!