With snow and cold expected to return to the region this weekend, Winona Health shares these tips from the American Red Cross for staying safe in cold weather:
• Prepare a winter-specific supply kit that includes a warm coat, hat, mittens or gloves, and water-resistant boots, along with extra blankets and extra warm clothing. Sand or non-clumping kitty litter is good to have on hand to help make walkways or steps less slippery.
• Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local news channels for critical information on snowstorms and blizzards from the National Weather Service.
• All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
• Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power or heat during periods of extreme cold.
• Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog. If travel is necessary, keep your winter supply kit in your vehicle. Allow extra time to reach your destination.
• Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task. Take frequent breaks while shoveling snow.
• Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers.
• Help people who require special assistance such as elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
• Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate units away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
Learn how to treat cold weather related emergencies by downloading the free Red Cross First Aid App at redcross.org/apps. More information about winter safety is available at www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm.
Those who need a warm place to sleep are welcome to go to the Winona Community Warming Center located in the back of Community Bible Church with a separate entrance for the Warming Center, 69 East Third Street in Winona. For more information, call 507-458-9197.