YOU CAN CONTROL THE WEATHER
Posted on Monday, February 09, 2015
WINTER STORM LOOMING
It’s probably not good timing to joke about controlling the weather. We can control a lot of things in our lives, but one thing we can’t control is the weather. Certainly we sometimes wish we could, especially when a winter storm is looming.
So how do you prepare for a significant Winter Storm?
HUNKER DOWN: it's critical to have your stock of food and supplies ready when the storm arrives. More than likely, stores will be crowded with shoppers when a storm is looming. To avoid walking into a store with near empty shelves, stock up ahead of time. Make a list of items you’ll need for each member of your household to live for five to seven days, more if you live in a northern region, which normally receives snowfall. Don’t forget your pets want to “Hunker Down” also , therefore don’t forget about them when you're at the grocery store. Picking up an extra supply of dog/cat food is a good idea. Double down on toiletry items as well.
PROTECT THE PIPES: One thing you'll need if a blizzard is on the way is running water. Water pipes tend to freeze in temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. A simple preventative method is wrapping your interior pipes with foam insulation. If you know the temperature will drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, leave your faucets running at a slow drip.
EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT: Keep a flashlight, batteries, radio, kerosene heater (ensure it can be ventilated properly), candles, extra wood for the fire place, blankets, sleeping bags, etc. Imagine you were going camping in the woods. What would you need to get to ensure your survival for 5 days? Those are things you want to pick up.
STROKE/HEART ATTACKS: People suffer from strokes and/or heart attacks every year due to shoveling snow. Many times it’s due to an activity that one is not used to…. lifting 20-30lbs of snow. Don’t be to proud to ask for help from someone younger and in better shape (if that’s the case). If not take it very slow and warm up first before you begin the heavy lifting.
FROSTBITE: Prolong exposure even with the best of winter weather gear can lead to frostbite. Be smart, know the signs and take action if the following occurs:
* Numbness, tingling, burning, itching. The skin looks frozen white and retains firmness when pressed. The loss of sensation, swelling, or blisters on the skin. The skin is yellowish and hard or appears blackened.
Immediate treatment is necessary. Move to a warm area as soon as possible and keep the effected area elevated. Remove any restrictive clothing/jewelry. See a doctor immediately for severe frostbite.
NO POWER: Hypothermia kills many people every year. If your home loses power in a snowstorm and you have no backup power or heater you could easily succumb to hypothermia, which could lead to death.
If you feel hypothermia setting in – slow pulse, loss of bladder control, mental confusion, stiff joints, etc., you need to begin to warm yourself as quickly as possible. Gather sleeping bags, blankets, add additional clothing layers, and if there is someone with you snuggle-up-close to conserve body heat.
OFF THE ROAD: You’re alone and stuck because your car has swerved off the road, but your not terribly worried even in this scenario because this is something you have prepared for. You have with you your Emergency GO Kit that includes:
• First Aid Kit
• Foldable shovel
• Sleeping Back
• Hazard Reflectors
• Flash Light
• Lighters/Fire Starter Kit
• Tow Rope
The number one rule is to remain calm – hyperventilating, passing out, or having a heart attack could severely limit your chances of survival. Stay in your car as it is your current means of shelter, furthermore, rescuers can easily spot it. You have your cell phone fully charged because the rule you live by is to keep the phone connected to the charger while driving – now make the emergency calls if you can. If the car starts, turn it on and run it for 5-10 minutes at a time so it can heat the car. If you can raise the hood do so, it makes the vehicle easier to spot and lets travelers or rescuers know you need help and while you are out raising your hood ensure that your tailpipe is not blocked – if it is clear the blockage (snow/debris/etc). This must be done so that carbon monoxide doesn’t back up into the car.
If you have colored material, neon if possible, tie it to your antenna so that someone may see it.
LASTLY: If a blizzard knocks out your power and home phone service, turn your charged cell phone off and save the charge for emergency calls.
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