Getting Your Family Ready for Winter
When winter hits, sometimes it hits hard! Listen to your local weather forecaster and read through the following tips to keep your family warm in winter weather.
Have extra blankets on hand and make sure that each member of your household has:
- warm coat
- gloves or mittens
- warm socks
- water-resistant boots
Teach children how and when to call 911 for the police or fire department, and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
WHN Tip: Keep a list of radio stations by each radio and in each room.
If children are not old enough to memorize the information, they should carry a small index card to give to a known adult or babysitter that lists the emergency information.
Create an evacuation and safety plan for each family member (see Blizzards — Create a Winter Storm Plan). Practice the plan every few months and before winter sets in.
Know the emergency response plan for your workplace, each child's school or daycare center, as well as other places where your family spends time.
Make sure your family members know basic first aid and house skills (how to turn off the house water, gas and electricity at the main valves or switches.)
WHN Tip: Take first aid and safety courses from the American Red Cross covering CPR and severe bleeding and shock, as well as what do for someone who is choking or suffering from frostbite.
How to Prevent Frostbite
Exposure to cold without adequate protection can result in frostbite. Parents can protect their children by following these precautions:
Dress children warmly. Several thin layers will help keep children dry as well as warm. Clothing should consist of:
- Thermal long johns
- One or two shirts
- Warm socks
- Gloves or mittens
Set reasonable time limits on outdoor play. Call children in periodically to warm up with drinks such as hot chocolate.
When possible, avoid taking infants outdoors when it is colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Infants lose body heat quickly.
If you do suspect frostbite, contact a medical professional immediately for treatment.
American Red Cross
Click on Preparing and Getting Trained and Getting Assistance. The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers, provides relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.
Readiness U for Kids
Offers educational information on winter storms for kids. The site also has fun games and stories. A collaboration between FEMA and Ready.gov.
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