Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter

If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.

Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.

Winterize your home.

  1. Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
  2. Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
  3. Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.

Check your heating systems.

  1. Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly and ventilated to the outside.
  2. Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
  3. Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly.
  4. Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
  5. Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies.
  6. Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check batteries regularly.
  7. Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headaches, nausea, and disorientation.

Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages.

  1. Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.
  2. Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including:

Get your car ready for cold weather use before winter arrives.

  1. Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level; check tire tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires
  2. Keep gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
  3. Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
  4. Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. Include:

When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.

  1. Avoid traveling when the weather service has issued advisories.
  2. If you must travel, inform a friend or relative of your proposed route and expected time of arrival.
  3. Follow these safety rules if you become stranded in your car.

Above all, be prepared to check on family and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.

Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter. Retrieved December 11th, 2013 from

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