GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., November 1, 2013 - As the winter months approach, the American Red Cross encourages the public to prepare for potential hazards due to the weather. November 3-9 is Michigan Winter Hazards Awareness Week, and the Red Cross wants to educate the community about how to protect themselves, their families, and their homes during the winter months.
"The week is a statewide campaign to help Michigan residents get ready for winter," said Kelly Hudson, Regional Communications Officer for the American Red Cross of West Michigan. "Part of the mission of the Red Cross is to teach our neighbors about preparing for emergencies and this is a great opportunity to do that."
AUTO & HOME SAFETY
- Keep a safety kit at home and in the car. Kits should include items like a portable radio, flashlight, extra food and water, a cell phone, medications, and other essential items.
- Be sure your vehicle is winterized by late fall. Have a mechanic check the belts, hoses, tires, battery, and coolant in your car.
- Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year
- Keep a glass or metal fire screen around the fireplace and never leave a fireplace fire unattended.
- Avoid overexertion and excessive sweating in the cold, which can lead to hypothermia.
- Wear layers. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight warm clothing in layers, with a waterproof outer later. Also wear waterproof, insulated boots. These can prevent things like frostbite and hypothermia.
- Seek medical attention immediately if you have symptoms of hypothermia including dizziness, exhaustion, and severe shivering.
For more tips about preparing for the winter weather, visit redcross.org/prepare. For information on how to give, get trained, or get involved with the American Red Cross, visit redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.