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Winter Weather Guide
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Winter Weather Guide

Cold winter weather is upon us! The following safety tips courtesy of WKYC/WKYC.com in Cleveland could save your life when winter weather threatens.

Know the Terms

Types of Severe Winter Weather

Preparing at Home (or Work)

Remaining indoors protected from the elements is the safest place during a winter storm. The primary concern of indoor shelter is the potential loss of heat, power, telephone service, and a shortage of supplies if the storm persists for more than a day. Keep the following available:

Preparing the Car or Truck

About 70 percent of deaths during an ice or snow storm occur in a vehicle! If you wonder if you should attempt to travel, then don't! If you must travel, then allow extra time. Reduce your speed and do not attempt to make sudden turns or stops. Winterize the vehicle so it will be reliable. This includes a good set of tires. Other items necessary for the car or truck include:

Protecting the Pets

Don't forget the animals during a winter storm! Most animal deaths during a storm are caused by dehydration from frozen water.

Winter Fire Safety

Winter holidays can be a joyous time for all, but nearly 50 percent of civilian fire deaths occur throughout the winter season: November to February. Most heating fires involve fireplaces and chimneys. The most dangerous place to be is in your home. Your home can be a cozy, warm place away from a harsh winter, but it can also become dangerous if you don't take special precautions.

Candle Burning Safety Tips

Wind Chill

Wind Chill is not the actual temperature, but rather how wind and cold feel on exposed skin. As the wind increases, heat is carried away from the body at an accelerated rate, driving down the body temperature. Animals are also affected by wind chill; however, cars, plants and other objects are not.

Frostbite

Frostbite is damage to the body tissue caused by extreme cold. A wind chill of -20° Fahrenheit (F) will cause frostbite in just 30 minutes. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately! If you must wait for help, slowly re-warm affected areas. However, if the person is also showing signs of hypothermia, warm the body core before the extremities.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is a condition brought on when the body temperate drops to less than 95° Fahrenheit (F). It can kill. For those who survive, there are likely to be lasting kidney, liver, and pancreas problems. Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. Take the person's temperature. If it is below 95° Fahrenheit (F), seek medical care immediately!

NWS Windchill Chart

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