Red Cross offers storm safety tips
As another wintry blast hits, the Red Cross urges people to follow these steps:
• Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing, wear mittens and a hat (preferably one that covers your ears).
• Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.
• Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
• Listen to local news outlets and follow the advice of your local officials.
• Make sure your emergency and first-aid kits are available.
• Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank of gas will keep your fuel line from freezing.
• Don’t forget your pets – bring them 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.
Avoid frozen pipes by:
• Running water, even at a trickle, to help prevent them from freezing.
• Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
• Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children.
• Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
• Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.
• Heating systems are running at full force and many people are resorting to other sources to keep their homes warm. To avoid fire danger, you should remember the following:
— Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
— If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
— If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
— Use generators correctly – never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
— Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.
Download the American Red Cross First Aid App for advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores. To see all of the mobileapps, visit redcross.org/mobileapps.