Action Plan

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Aetna Intelihealth InteliHealth Aetna Intelihealth Aetna Intelihealth
 
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Harvard Medical School
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Chrome 2001
Chrome 2001
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Action Plan

Healthy Lifestyle
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Winter Storms and Blizzards
Action Plan
Action Plan
htmBlizzardAction
Winter storm/blizzard action plan
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InteliHealth
2010-08-03
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InteliHealth Content
2013-08-03

InteliHealth Content

Winter Storms And Blizzards

 

Action Plan
Before A Winter Storm or Blizzard
  • Learn about your area's winter storm risk.
  • Put together a Family Disaster Plan. It is important to review the plan often so that all family members, including children, understand it and know what to do in case of a winter storm.
  • Put together a Disaster Supplies Kit for your home and a smaller one for your car.
  • Install smoke alarms on each level of your home and test them monthly. Change batteries at least once a year. Learn how to use an ABC-type fire extinguisher and make sure it remains charged.
  • Understand the warnings and watches issued by the National Weather Service regarding winter storms. Warnings and watches are issued for a particular area, so it is important to know the name of your county or parish.
    • A winter storm watch is issued when there is a threat of a winter storm in your area.
    • A winter storm warning is issued when winter storm conditions are occurring, or will soon occur, in your area.
    • A blizzard warning means sustained winds of 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable falling or blowing snow, reducing visibility to less than a quarter of a mile. Such conditions are expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer.
  • Keep your vehicle's fuel tank full to prevent freezing.
  • Make sure your home is properly insulated.
  • Keep pipes from freezing by wrapping them in a layer of newspaper and an outside layer of plastic. Let faucets drip slightly.
  • If you plan to use an alternative heating source such as a fireplace or kerosene heater, learn the proper safety precautions associated with the source. Make sure the use of kerosene is legal in your community before using it.
  • Listen for updated information and instructions on a NOAA Weather Radio or battery-powered radio or television.
  • Be aware of changing weather conditions.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel. Driving during a winter storm is dangerous.
During a Winter Storm or Blizzard Watch
  • Listen for updated information and instructions on a NOAA Weather Radio or battery-powered radio or television.
  • Be aware of changing weather conditions.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel. Driving during a winter storm accounts for the majority of deaths during these events.
During a Winter Storm Warning or Blizzard Warning
  • Stay inside.
  • Dress warmly and in layers. Remove layers to avoid overheating.
  • Listen for updated information or instructions on a NOAA Weather Radio or battery-powered radio or television.
  • Eat regularly. Food provides energy so the body can produce its own heat.
  • Avoid dehydration. Avoid caffeine, which can stimulate the effects of hypothermia, or alcohol, which can hasten the effects of the cold.
  • Conserve fuel.
  • If you must go outside:
    • Dress warmly and in layers.
    • Cover your mouth to protect your lungs.
    • Watch for signs of hypothermia or frostbite.
    • Keep dry.
    • Stretch before you go outside.
    • Avoid overexertion.
    • Walk carefully.
  • If you must drive during a winter storm:
    • Bring a cellular phone or two-way radio.
    • Keep a windshield scraper and brush in your car.
    • Plan to travel during daylight.
    • Inform someone of the route you plan to take to your destination. If you become stranded, help can be sent along the route.
  • If you get stuck in your car:
    • Stay with your vehicle.
    • Display a trouble sign such as a brightly colored cloth.
    • Occasionally run the engine to keep warm. Run the engine for about 10 minutes every hour and keep a window slightly open to prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide.
    • Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so that you can be seen by anyone who may pass by.
    • Keep up your circulation by doing minor exercises.
    • If more than one person is in the car, take turns sleeping. If you do not wake up periodically to increase your body temperature, you can freeze to death.
    • Huddle together for warmth.
    • Watch for signs of hypothermia or frostbite.
    • Drink fluids to avoid dehydration.
    • Avoid overexertion.
    • Use car mats or newspaper for added insulation.
After a Winter Storm or Blizzard
  • Listen for updated information and instructions on a NOAA Weather Radio or battery-powered radio or television.
  • Avoid driving.
  • Avoid overexertion.
  • Listen for forecasts and be prepared. Winter storms are often followed by colder conditions.
  • Use a flashlight and not candles, which can ignite flammable materials.
  • Stay away from floodwater.
    • Do not try to walk through flooded areas. As little as six inches of water can knock you off your feet.
    • Do not try to drive through flooded areas. The road may be washed away and as little as two feet of water can move a vehicle.
    • Floodwater can contain dangerous debris or fallen power lines.
    • Floodwater can contain chemicals, sewage and other contaminants that cause disease.
  • Never drink floodwater or food that came in contact with floodwater.
  • Stay away from electrical lines that have fallen.
  • Wear sturdy shoes.
  • Watch for broken glass, debris, spills and downed power lines.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings.

 

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Last updated October 10, 2013


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