Winter Storm Safety Tips

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE … (Burlington, VT – December 21, 2012) While winter in our region doesn’t always follow the calendar, the American Red Cross is using the first official day of winter to remind people of important safety tips. As we know, winter storms can range from moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard that lasts for a few days. Regardless of the severity of a winter storm, the American Red Cross wants people to be prepared and to remain safe during these events.

“Many winter storms bring low temperatures, strong winds, sleet and freezing rain,” said Doug Bishop, Director of Communications for the Vermont & the New Hampshire Upper Valley American Red Cross. “Make sure you have emergency supplies for your entire household in case you end up having to remain in your home for a few days.”

Before the Storm

People should know the difference between a winter storm watch and a warning. A watch is issued when winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. During a warning, severe weather conditions have already begun or will begin within 24 hours and people should immediately take precautions.

The Red Cross recommends having the following items on hand in a convenient spot:

  • At least a 3-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and non-perishable food;
  • A flashlight, battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio and extra batteries;
  • A well-stocked first aid kit;
  • A 7-day supply of medications and medical items; and
  • Supplies for babies and pets.
  • People can learn what to do in an emergency in case advanced medical help is delayed by taking a First Aid and CPR/AED course and by downloading the free American Red Cross First Aid App.

    When a Storm is Coming

  • Listen and watch for critical information from the National Weather Service.
  • Bring pets inside. Move other animals and livestock to sheltered areas.
  • Stay inside. If people must go out, wear warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in layers.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep emergency supplies in vehicles.
  • Bishop reminds everyone: “Check in on your neighbors – especially those requiring special assistance and those living alone.”

    Additional information on what supplies to have and what to do before, during and after a winter storm is located at redcross.org/wintersafety.

    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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.