With this new winter storm that hit Muncie, Indiana near the end January, accidents and mishaps are bound to occur during and after this event when people are out and about. One way to prevent, or not allow for as many accidents to occur, would be the preparedness anyone can take to keep them and others around them as safe as possible through this winter weather. Although, staying inside would be ideal, not everyone has that opportunity, and will eventually have to venture out in such a storm. If that is you, listen up!
The first preparedness tip is to stay warm. It is winter and there is a storm, so staying warm and dry is key during this event. Bundling up in clothes, such as hats, scarves, long sleeves, coats, gloves, and boots will definitely go a long way in keeping the warmth with you. If your clothes get wet, change into dry clothes as soon as the opportunity is available, as the wet clothes will make you cold and chill your body.
If you are too hot and too sweaty from too many layers of clothing, take some layers off. Excess sweat allows your body to cool itself and lose heat, but you want to keep the heat, just not too much of it. If you are shivering too much, that means your time outside is coming to an end, as this motion allows for loss of heat, as well.
This is all to avoid frostbite and hypothermia.
Ice is another tip people need to look out for, as it can cause many injuries and is not safe to travel on. One way to prevent an accident is to not approach it at all, but if need be, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Avoid ice as much as possible
- Keep as many surfaces around your home free of ice, such as stairs or walkways
- Use of salt or sometimes sand
- If you are driving, drive slow so if you do slip on icy roads, you won’t end up in a bigger accident
- If you are walking, avoid sidewalks covered in ice, and patches of ice
- Walk around ice as safely as possible
- If you are riding a bike, or an object that allows you to travel with wheels on a sidewalk, go slow so you do not slip and veer off the sidewalk into oncoming traffic
No one thinks it is going to happen to them, but another winter weather tip is to know what to do if you get stranded. This may happen if you get lost, your car breaks down, etc. Now the first point to notice is staying in your vehicle is the safest option that you can take in this situation. If your car is not working, you will want to make sure you stay warm, as has been mentioned previously in the tips above. But if you are able to get the heat on, run it for about 10 minutes every hour, while slightly opening one window to let the air in. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, or at least reduce the risk, make sure there is no blockage, such as snow, in the way of your exhaust pipe.
You also want a way which you can contact rescuers. If you cannot get a call out, you can always tie a bright piece of cloth to your antenna or somewhere on or around you and your vehicle for rescuers to notice. With not much to do, sleep may seem like a safe alternative, but that is last thing you want to do. Stay awake and move your arms and legs to provide circulation to keep you warmer, so you don’t freeze sitting in your car. You can also keep some warmth if you are with other people by huddling together.
Stay safe out there!