Ready for Winter? TRICARE Shares Safety Tips for the Season
For many, the winter season brings family, merriment and holiday parties. It’s easy to forget that winter weather can be dangerous. Don’t let the season’s severe storms, light dustings of snow or cold temperatures catch you unprepared. Make sure you and your families know how to safeguard yourselves from dangerous winter weather.
Snow, sleet and high winds can knock out heat, power and communication services to your home or office. Get prepared for weather-related emergencies, and follow these steps from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to prepare your home.
- Check your heating systems and have them professionally serviced.
- Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
- Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
- Install both carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke detectors. Check batteries regularly.
- Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.
- Ensure that your cell phone is fully charged.
- Keep an up-to-date emergency kit.
Don’t forget that during the cold weather months our bodies need extra protection. It’s best to layer light, warm clothing, gloves, scarves, hats and waterproof boots for wetter weather. Work slowly when doing outside chores, and take a friend and an emergency kit when participating in outdoor recreation. And, don’t forget to drink water. Even though you may not feel as thirsty in the cold weather as you do in the summer months, staying hydrated is just as important.
During the holiday season, some spend a lot of time traveling, but many don’t think to winterize their cars. Have your radiator serviced and check antifreeze levels. Check your tire tread, and if necessary, replace your tires with all-weather or snow tires. You should keep your gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines, and use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
It is also smart to prepare a winter emergency kit for your car. Pack blankets, non-perishable foods, water and plastic bags for sanitation. You should also include booster cables, flares, a tire pump, flashlight, battery-powered radio, extra batteries and a first aid kit. If an accident does occur, with these essentials, you should have enough materials to keep you safe and warm until help arrives. It is also important to check on family and neighbors who are at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you can’t bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.
Winter storms and cold temperatures can be hazardous for all, but if you plan ahead, you can stay safe and healthy! Visit Ready.gov for more tips, resources and winter safety ideas.