CONCORD, NH. – Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - A strong winter storm is delivering extremely cold weather, snow, ice and blizzard conditions from Florida to New England and the American Red Cross is preparing to help where needed.
The storm is bringing snow and ice to areas not used to winter weather - winter storm watches and warnings are up from Florida to Virginia. The storm will hit the Mid-Atlantic coastal areas as early as Thursday, and strengthen to blizzard conditions as it moves into New England.
As the storm moves offshore, more numbing cold is predicted for the eastern half of the country.
The National Weather Service reports ice is already accumulating in parts of Florida and Georgia. The entire state of Georgia is on alert for winter weather and freeze warnings. The Red Cross is working with officials and has shelters on stand-by in case of power outages.
Throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, the Red Cross have been supporting several warming centers by supplying cots, and are working with officials to determine if more help is needed.
WINTER SAFETY TIPS
The Red Cross has steps people should follow to stay safe during severe winter weather:
· Wear layers of clothing, a hat, mittens and waterproof, insulated boots.
· Be careful when tackling strenuous tasks like shoveling snow in cold temperatures.
· Check on your neighbors, especially elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
· Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
· Watch for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.
WINTER TRAVEL SAFETY
Stay off the road if possible during severe weather. If you have to drive in winter weather, follow these tips:
· Make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road.
· Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.
· Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
· Don’t pass snow plows.
· Ramps, bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways.
PREVENT HOME FIRES
With the cold temperatures there is often a rise in the number of home fires. Follow these tips to help prevent a fire in your home:
· Keep all potential sources of fuel paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs - at least three feet away from sources of heat.
· Never leave portable heaters and fireplaces unattended.
· Place space heaters on a level, hard and nonflammable surface. Keep children and pets away from space heaters. Look for models that shut off automatically if the heater falls over.
· Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
· Keep fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen.
DOWNLOAD APPS People can download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to weather alerts for their area and where loved ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any mishaps. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.