Remain Safe During A Blizzard

Reduced visibility and high winds create hazardous conditions during blizzards.

Anyone who has ever been through a blizzard knows they are no laughing matter, but what you may not know is that blizzards can strike even when no snowfall is predicted. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a blizzard occurs when a storm contains large amounts of snow or blowing snow, winds exceed 35 mph and visibility is decreased to less than 1/4 mile for more than three hours. High winds can create dangerously low wind-chill temperatures. White-out conditions develop quickly, making the already hazardous roads impassible. Observing safety measures reduces the risk of injuries during a blizzard. Does this Spark an idea?

Instructions

1. Keep vehicles in good running condition to avoid problems when blizzards arise. Check that tires are suitable for winter driving; refill the windshield washer fluid; keep the tank filled with gas; and keep an ice scraper and warm gloves in the car. Add an emergency kit with a flashlight and new batteries, emergency phone numbers, a cell phone, emergencies flashers, booster cables, a shovel, first aid kit and an extra blanket to keep you warm should you get stranded in a blizzard. Stay off the roads when a blizzard strikes, if possible. Low visibility, blowing winds and snow covered roads make driving hazardous.

2. Stay inside when a blizzard strikes. Extreme drops in temperature can occur quickly, posing the risk of frost bite or hypothermia. Decreased visibility may be disorienting and, even if you only intend to run a short errand, you may lose you way in the storm. The safest place to be in a blizzard is inside.

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3. Bring pets inside when a blizzard is expected. Put livestock or farm animals in a barn or shed and secure the doors and windows. Pets and farm animals face the same risks of injury in a blizzard as humans do. Keep them safely inside to avoid injuries.

4. Keep your pantry stocked with emergency food supplies if you live in an area where blizzards are likely. This includes fresh drinking water, canned or dried foods, pet food and baby formula. Foods that do not need to be cooked are best as you may lose electricity and may be unable to cook when a blizzard strikes.

5. Keep at least three days supply of necessary medications on hand in the event a blizzard strikes, preventing you from visiting the pharmacy. This includes any over-the-counter medications you use frequently. Keep your household first-aid kit up-to-date and supplied with basic items, such as bandages, wraps and sterile gauze. Include wound cleaning items, tweezers and medical tape.

6. Stock up on emergency lighting, batteries and flashlights. Downed lines may leave you without electricity for hours — and in extreme cases, electricity may be out for days. Keep a battery-powered radio in your emergency kit to monitor weather reports and maintain contact with the outside world.

7. Insulate doors and windows during a blizzard if you lose electricity and heat. Place rolled towels along the bottoms of windows and doors to prevent a cold draft from winds. Close off unused areas by hanging heavy blankets over open doorways to keep the heat in one area. Use only approved sources of supplemental heat. Camping stoves, grills and kerosene heaters pose health risks and should not be used unless approved for inside use.

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