Be Prepared for Winter Weather

It’s Winter Safety Awareness Week

We have experienced mild autumn weather this year, but if you have spent any amount of time at all in Northeast Ohio, you know the snow could start to fly any day. And forecasters are predicting colder temperatures and more snow for the Great Lakes area this winter, thanks to La Nina. It’s not too early to be prepared for the winter weather ahead, and Governor John Kasich is promoting Winter Safety Awareness Week, Nov. 13-19, encouraging households and businesses to update their safety plans, replenish their disaster supply kits, and prepare themselves, their vehicles and their property for winter-related incidents.

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Freshly fallen snow on the trees (and power lines) of a Northeast Ohio neighborhood.

Be Informed

Know the difference between advisories, watches and warnings.

Advisory: Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconvenience and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.

Watch: Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.

Warning: Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: when in doubt, don’t go out.  Minimize travel outdoors. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.  Emergency kits are available in the Red Cross store.

Your emergency kit for your car should include:

  1. Flashlight with extra batteries
  2. An extra Cell Phone Car Charger
  3. Blanket and/or emergency Mylar blanket
  4. Fleece Hat, Gloves, Scarf (one set for each traveler)
  5. Flares
  6. Folding Shovel
  7. Sand or Cat Litter
  8. Ice Scraper and Snow Brush
  9. First-Aid Kit
  10. Small battery-operated radio
  11. Emergency contact card with names and phone numbers
  12. Extra prescription medications
  13. Bottled Water (4 quarts per traveler – don’t forget pets!)
  14. High protein snacks such as nuts and energy bars; canned fruit and a portable can opener
  15. Maps
  16. Whistle
  17. Baby formula and diapers if you have a small child
  18. A baggie of pet food, if you frequently travel with your four-legged friend

Visit redcross.org for more information on how to make an emergency kit, and keep yourself and your loved ones safe and warm this winter.

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