TIPS: What To Do During A Winter Storm

1:47 PM, Mar 5, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA 9) -- As you know, the D.C. region is expecting snow starting Tuesday night. 

Winter Storm Warnings were issued for areas west of the Metro starting Tuesday evening. 

Our meteorologists say some areas in the northern Shenandoah Valley could see more than a foot of heavy wet snow, possibly even 18 inches. Downtown could receive six to nine inches of snow coupled with winds over 30 mph winds Wednesday afternoon and night, predict WUSA 9 meteorologists. That snow and wind will likely bring down branches and power lines. Southeast of D.C., heavy rains will eventually change to snow and that will keep snow totals on the low end.

We want to make sure that you are ready for the storm. Ready.Gov gives the following tips for dealing with winter storms and extreme cold:

  1. Stay indoors during the storm.
  2. Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
  3. Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack-a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside.
  4. Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
  5. Watch for signs of frostbite. These include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.
  6. Watch for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible.
  7. Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don't travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
  8. Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
  9. If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).
  10. Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.
  11. Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms.
  12. If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.
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