Much of western North Carolina is getting ready for another bout of snow. Accumulation predictions vary from a dusting to a few inches depending on location. A real concern is ice following overnight freezing. To help keep our community safer as we continue to face the winter weather, the American Red Cross is offering safety tips for driving, home heating, and pets.
Have furnaces, chimneys, fireplaces, wood and coal stoves
in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
and practice it with everyone who lives in the home.
Pto have ready. 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 have on hand for the winter include:
o Sand, rock salt or kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery
o Warm coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and warm clothing for all household members, along with extra blankets.
The Red Cross recommends that people look for a space heater 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.
· Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
Cold weather can be particularly difficult on our pets that rely on us for their well-being, especially for outdoor dogs and cats.
· If possible, bring your pets inside during cold winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water.
· If the animals are outside, make sure their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles.
· If pets cannot come indoors, make sure they are protected by a dry, draft-free enclosure large enough to allow them to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold in the pet’s body heat. Raise the floor a few inches off the ground and cover it with cedar shavings or straw. Turn the enclosure away from the wind and cover the doorway with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
· Keep the car's gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
· Clean your car lights and windows to help you see.
· Avoid all distractions while driving such as eating, texting, to talking on the phone.
· . Before you leave, let someone know where you are going, the route you plan to take, and when you expect to get there. If your car gets stuck, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
· . Sudden stops are difficult on snowy or icy roads.
· use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief:
The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its crucial mission. Donations to support Red Cross Disaster Relief enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Make a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift.
The time and talent of every volunteer makes a real difference in people’s lives. Those interested in volunteering may visit www.redcross.org/wnc today to learn more about volunteer opportunities and to submit a volunteer application.
Every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. In the winter, collections are down as blood drives are canceled due to weather and people forgo regular appointments. You may help by donating blood. Right now, there is an urgent need especially for O-negative, B-negative, and platelets. Visit www.redcrossblood.org for a collection location or blood drive near you.