Archive for Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Red Cross offers tips to cope with blizzard

February 1, 2011

The Red Cross is working with state and local government officials and calling disaster workers, getting them ready in the wake of today’s blizzard to respond if necessary.

Weather experts are predicting the storm could affect about 100 million people across the United States, including Kansas.

If possible, people should stay inside and avoid unnecessary travel. The Red Cross offers these steps people can take to stay safe and warm:

  • Do not use stoves or ovens to heat the home.
  • Place space heaters on a hard, level, nonflammable surface. Do not put space heaters on rugs or carpets, near bedding or drapes, and keep children and pets away.
  • Turn off space heaters or extinguish the fireplace before going to bed or leaving home.
  • Keep all flammable materials such as newspapers, matches, bedding, clothing, carpets and rugs at least three feet away from heat sources such as space heaters, fireplaces and stoves.

If someone must go outside, they should wear layered lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves (or mittens) and a hat will prevent loss of body heat. Covering the mouth will protect the lungs. Other safety tips include:

  • Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep feet warm and dry and to maintain footing in ice and snow.
  • If shoveling snow, take frequent breaks and stay hydrated. Avoid overexertion.
  • Avoid traveling by car in a storm, but if someone must be out on the roads ...
  • Carry a Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk.
  • Keep the car's gasoline tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • The traveler should let someone know where they are going, the route being taken and expected arrival time. If their vehicle gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along the predetermined route.

For more information on how to stay safe and warm during this latest onslaught of winter, visit redcross.org.

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