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Cold Weather Calls for Special Safety Steps
Develop a fire escape plan for your household.
It’s November and cooler weather is knocking on the door. The American Red Cross has steps people should follow as they get ready for cooler weather.
HOME HEATING SAFETY Have furnaces, chimneys, fireplaces, wood and coal stoves inspected and cleaned before another winter of use. Test batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Other good steps to take to get one’s home ready for winter include:
Make sure flashlights are available throughout the house and that they have fresh batteries. Winter storms can lead to power outages.
Cut down on heating costs. Insulate the home by installing storm windows or covering the inside of windows with plastic to keep cold air out.
Develop a fire escape plan and practice it with everyone who lives in the home.
Have a disaster supply kit ready should winter storms hit. The kit should include a three-day supply of food and water per person, flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio and extra batteries. Other things to include for the winter include:
Sand, rock salt or kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery
Warm coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and warm clothing for all household members, along with extra blankets.
An alternate way to heat the home, such as a fireplace, or wood or coal burning stove.
SPACE HEATERS With heating costs rising, many people are using alternate sources of heat to cut down on heating bills. The Red Cross recommends that people look for a model that shuts off automatically if the heater falls over. Other safety tips include:
Place the heater on a level, hard and nonflammable surface in the home.
Keep all potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves, or fireplaces.
Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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Be ready for wildfires with the Wildfire App by the American Red Cross. Get the latest state-by-state wildfire news and updates, prepare your family, home and pets, let loved ones know that you are safe even if the power is out – a must have for anyone who lives in an area that is susceptible to wildfires or has loved ones that do.
Get your family and home ready for a tornado with the official Tornado App from the American Red Cross. The Tornado app puts everything you need to know prepare for a tornado – and all that comes with it – in the palm of your hand. With interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to be ready.
Get the Tornado App
First Aid App
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The Red Cross Shelter Finder is available in the iTunes store and works on iOS devices. The Shelter Finder displays open Red Cross shelters and their current population on an easy to use map interface.
Be ready for an earthquake with Earthquake by American Red Cross. Get notified when an earthquake occurs, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out – a must have for anyone who lives in an earthquake-prone area or has loved ones who do.