Love it or hate it, winter’s here — and with the cold comes an increased risk of weather-related injuries. Make sure you’re ready for whatever the winter brings. Take these steps to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
- Keep indoor temperatures at 65 degrees or warmer. If the expense is a problem, look into programs that may help with your energy bills.
- Keep heat sources, like space heaters, at least three feet away from drapes, furniture, or bedding.
- Never leave space heaters or lit candles, flames, or fireplaces unattended.
- Avoid using extension cords to plug in a space heater.
- If your space heater has a damaged electrical cord or produces sparks, do not use it.
- When dressing to go outside, dress in layers (kids need one more layer than adults) and wear warm boots, a hat, mittens, and a scarf (to cover your nose and mouth).
- Keep kitty litter, sand, or salt on hand for icy walkways.
- Clear away snow and salt your walkways at home or hire someone to do it.
- Always wear proper footwear, walk at a slow pace, and watch where you step.
- Remember your cell phone when you go out. Always let someone know where you are going and when you should be expected back.
- During icy conditions and severe cold, consider taking advantage of prescription and grocery delivery services.
Prepare for a Power Outage
- Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and keep extra water stored in clean containers.
- Ensure that your cell phone is fully charged.
- Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including battery-operated devices (such as a flashlight and a radio), extra batteries, and a first-aid kit with extra medicine.
- While the power is out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. If left unopened, a full freezer will keep food safe for 48 hours (24 hours if half full).
- Review What You Need to Know When the Power Goes Out Unexpectedly.
Avoid Carbon Monoxide (CO)
- Never heat your house with a gas oven.
- Install a battery-operated CO detector or replace the batteries in an existing one.
- Don’t run your car in your garage (even if the door is open) or when your tailpipe is covered with snow.
- Keep grills, camp stoves, and generators out of the house, basement, and garage.
- Locate generators at least 20 feet from the house.
No matter how you choose to ride out winter weather — hunkered down inside or braving the elements — you’ll find a wealth of information to help keep you and your family safe on ready.gov.