Personal Safety – Surviving Winter Weather

This year nearly all parts of the country are being impacted by dangerous winter weather conditions of ice, snow, colder than normal temperatures (some sub-zero) and power outages. Even small amounts of ice or snow on roads can make driving hazardous. These conditions are especially dangerous for people who work outdoors or are doing things such as shoveling snow. Accidental falls and frostbite are well-known dangers.

Some storms may cause disruptions such as downed utility lines or preventing emergency services from getting to where they are needed. The National Weather Service calls winter storms “Deceptive Killers” because most deaths are caused by indirect events such has traffic accidents on icy roads, falling tree limbs, heart attacks from shoveling snow, and hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold.

Personal Safety While Outside in Winter Weather:
  • Layer your clothes for better insulation. Note:  wet clothes lose their insulative value.
  • Wear a hat, hood, or scarf to conserve heat. Note: 50% of body heat is lost from your head.
  • Wear gloves and cover nose and ears to avoid frostbite. Be aware of the symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, waxy-feeling skin, and gray, white, or yellow discoloration of skin. Hypothermia symptoms include slurred speech, sluggishness, confusion, dizziness, shallow breathing, unusual behavior, and slow, irregular heartbeat. Bring anyone who appears to have these symptoms to a warm place and seek medical help immediately. For either of these conditions DO NOT give them coffee or alcohol, as those beverages can worsen the condition. Give warm broth instead.
  • Avoid overexertion–take frequent rests, and drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Change clothes that become sweaty.
  • When shoveling snow, don’t try to take the biggest shovels full of snow you can lift. (Shoveling snow is harder on you than going all-out on a treadmill.)
  • Have a means of supporting yourself if you must walk on icy surfaces.
  • Be aware of icicles hanging from roof edges that might fall on you (they might take a day or two after a snowfall to form).
  • Be aware of trees whose branches might break under a load of ice. And stay away from power lines that have fallen.
  • Never go out on ice that forms on a body of water (ice almost never gets thick enough in southern Indiana to support an adult).

Be aware of older people or others who may require special assistance, and make sure that small children are not left unattended; talk to older children about these dangers.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by christine - March 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm

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Extreme Heat Can Be Deadly

Each year many people die from extreme heat conditions. In the peak summer months the temperature and/or humidity can be unusually high for several days and can lead to an extreme heat emergency situation. Find out the warning signs and what to do...

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by christine - July 23, 2013 at 9:38 am

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NWS Analysis of the Granbury, Texas Tornado of May 15, 2013

In Granbury, Texas , people were evacuated from areas of greatest destruction, and are being allowed to re-enter only on the fourth day after the event. Residents who took Go-Bags with them were more comfortable than those without . . .

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by norm - May 18, 2013 at 10:08 am

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The TOR:CON Index

Something we often hear about on the Weather Channel (only the Weather Channel!) is the TOR:CON index. ("TOR:CON" stands for "TORnado CONdition." It was devised by Dr. Greg Forbes, the severe weather expert for the Weather Channel. . . The index is only trotted out when conditions are favorable for severe weather. . . if your TOR:CON number is 3, you have a 3 in 10 chance (or 30%) that a tornado will strike within 50 miles of your location.

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2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by norm - April 16, 2013 at 2:44 pm

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April Weather

April brings not only showers, flowers and warmer temperatures; it can also bring unsettled weather resulting in Severe Thunderstorms and sometimes Tornadoes. It is a good time to review your Preparedness Plan with family members and replace the water and food supplies in your Kits. Do not forget your Pet’s supplies too. The clothing in your Go Bag should also be changed to items for warmer temperatures.

 Do not be caught unprepared. Taking a few minutes now can make a big difference later and give you peace of mind that you are ready.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by christine - April 9, 2013 at 7:38 am

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March 23, 2013 is World Meteorological Day

The World Meteorological Day 2013 theme is "Watching the weather to protect life and property". World Meteorology Day is observed on 23 March every year. It commemorates the founding of the World Meteorological Organization by the WMO Convention in 1950 and marks a significant occasion for the World Meteorological Organization. It is celebrated by 188 members of the

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by christine - March 18, 2013 at 11:41 am

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March 20, 2013 is International Earth Day

International Earth Day was initiated to make earth inhabitants aware of their responsibility to care for the planet. This care includes environmental and natural resources. International Earth Day was founded by

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by christine - at 11:03 am

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Central US Shake Out- Thursday Feb 7, 2013

This is National Earthquake Awareness week in the United States. In recognition of the fact that earthquakes can occur at any time of year, at any time of day, typically with no warning, the Central US, including the states of Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma are encouraging their citizens

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Geojim13 - February 6, 2013 at 9:48 am

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Surviving Winter Weather–Personal Safety Outdoors

The conditions created during severe winter storms are dangerous for people who work outdoors or just have things to do outside of the house such as shoveling snow.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by norm - January 20, 2013 at 5:54 am

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Ham Radio and Disaster Preparedness

Amateur Radio, often called "ham radio," has consistently been the most reliable means of communications in emergencies when other systems failed due to power failures and destruction of communications facilities. "When all else fails, ham radio works!"

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by norm - January 19, 2013 at 7:03 pm

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