ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — As the Stateline continues to face harsh, freezing temperatures, officials with the Red Cross are reminding residents of some safety tips to keep in mind this time of year.
See the full list of tips below:
- Be aware of the wind chill. Avoid staying in the cold too long.
- Wear layers of clothing to stay warm, along with a hat, mittens and waterproof, insulated boots to keep feet warm and dry. Avoid unnecessary exposure of any part of the body to the cold.
- Be careful when tackling strenuous tasks like shoveling snow in cold temperatures. Take frequent breaks from the cold.
- Drink plenty of warm fluids or warm water but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Get out of the cold immediately if the signs of hypothermia and frostbite appear.
- Check on your neighbors, especially elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
- Bring family pets indoors. If that’s not possible, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they can get to unfrozen water.
- Prevent frozen pipes. Open cabinet doors to let warm air circulate around water pipes. Let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes.
- Do not use a stove or oven to heat the home. Keep a glass or metal fire screen around the fireplace and never leave a fireplace fire unattended.
- If using a space heater, place it on a level, hard, nonflammable surface. Don’t place it on rugs and carpets, or near bedding and drapes. Keep children and pets away from the space heater and do not use it to dry wet clothing. Plug space heater power cords directly into outlets – never into an extension cord. Turn the space heater off when leaving the room or going to sleep.
- If the power goes out, use generators correctly. Never operate a generator inside the home, including the basement or garage. Do not hook up a generator directly to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment needed directly to the outlets on the generator.
On the road:
- Stay off the road during severe weather, if possible.
- Carry an emergency preparedness kit in the trunk.
- Keep the car’s gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road.
- Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.
- Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
- Don’t pass snowplows.
- Know that ramps, bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways.
Find more winter weather safety information here.