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Winter Weather Awareness Week

It's winter weather awareness week. Meteorologist Josh Fitzpatrick goes over what you need to stay safe and warm during harsh winter weather.

Prepare a Winter Storm Plan:

  • Have extra blankets on hand.
  • Ensure that each member of your household has a warm coat, gloves or mittens, hat and water-resistant boots.
  • Watch WSAZ, go to WSAZ.com or the WSAZ smart phone App. for updated storm information.
  • Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit Containing…
  • First aid kit and essential medications.
  • Battery-powered NOAA Weather radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Canned food and can opener.
  • Bottled water (at least one gallon of water per person per day to last at least 3 days).
  • Extra warm clothing, including boots, mittens, and a hat.
  • Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit for your car, too.
  • Have your car winterized before winter storm season.

 

When a Winter Storm WATCH is Issued:

  • Watch WSAZ, go to WSAZ.com or the WSAZ smart phone App. for updated storm information.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel.

 

When a Winter Storm WARNING is Issued:

  • Stay indoors during the storm.
  • If you must go outside, several layers of lightweight clothing will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat. Gloves (or mittens) and a hat will prevent loss of body heat. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs.
  • Understand the hazards of wind chill, which combines the cooling effect of wind and cold temperatures on exposed skin. As the wind increases, heat is carried away from a person's body at an accelerated rated, driving down the body temperature.
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy, sidewalks.

 

If You Do Get Stuck While Driving:

  • Stay with your car. Do not try to walk to safety.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) to the antenna for rescuers to see.
  • Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes won't back up in the car.
  • Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so that you can be seen.
  • As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to keep blood circulating and to stay warm.
  • Keep one window away from the blowing wind slightly open to let in fresh air.

 

What to Do After a Winter Storm:

  • Continue listening to WSAZ, clicking on WSAZ.com or the WSAZ smart phone App. for updated information and instructions.
  • Access may be limited to some parts of the community, or roads may be blocked.
  • Avoid driving and other travel until conditions have improved. Roads may be blocked by snow or emergency vehicles.
  • Avoid overexertion. Heart attacks from shoveling heavy snow are a leading cause of deaths during winter.
  • Follow forecasts and be prepared when venturing outside. Major winter storms are often followed by even colder conditions.

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