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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • American Red Cross offers winter storm safety tips

  • Winter has arrived in the mid-Missouri area and the American Red Cross Heart of Missouri Chapter wants to remind the community how to stay safe.
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  • Winter has arrived in the mid-Missouri area and the American Red Cross Heart of Missouri Chapter wants to remind the community how to stay safe.
    “Winter storms can bring a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain. It’s important to be prepared ahead of the storm – and know what to do during it as well,” said Dave Griffith, chapter executive director. “It’s always a good idea to have emergency supplies for your entire household at home and in your car, because you never know what may happen.”
    Below are some tips offered by the Red Cross for winter safety
    • Stay inside. If people must go out, wear warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in layers.
    • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, allow plenty of time to get to your destination and keep emergency supplies in the vehicle.
    • Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
    • Have an emergency kit in your car, including a blanket, food, water, winter coat and accessories, flashlight, first aid kit and vehicle powered phone charger.
    • Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
    • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawl space or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
    • Before you take on any strenuous work in cold temperatures—such as shoveling snow—consider your physical condition, the weather and the nature of the task. Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated while working, and avoid overexertion.
    • Seek medical attention immediately if you have symptoms of hypothermia, including confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Also seek immediate medical attention if you have symptoms of frostbite: these include numbness; flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration; and waxy-feeling skin.
    “Check in on your neighbors – especially those requiring special assistance and those living alone,” Griffith said.
    Winter precipitation can also cause power outages. It is a good idea to maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.  Additional information on what supplies to have and what to do before, during and after a winter storm is located at redcross.org/wintersafety.
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