Winter Weather Safety

It won't be long until we're facing winter storms. Meteorologist Josh Fitzpatrick gives you a refresher course on winter weather safety.

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.
     
  • Listen to WSAZ NewsChannel 3, myZtv and click on WSAZ.com for updated storm information.
    Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit Containing…
     
  • First aid kit and essential medications.
     
  • Battery-powered 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/gloves 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:
 

  • Listen to WSAZ NewsChannel 3, myZtv and click on WSAZ.com for further updates.
     
  • 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 air.

 

What to Do After a Winter Storm:
 

  • Continue  to check with WSAZ NewsChannel 3, myZtv and click on WSAZ.com 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.

Follow my on Twitter: twitter.com/weatherjoshfitz

Join me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Josh-Fitzpatrick-fan-page/362878134573?v=info

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