It’s here! Winter has come at last. Every season has its own traits. Lets enjoy winter as much as we can, starting with some safety precautions.
According to Alberta Health Services, the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responds to a number of cold weather emergencies every winter. However, you can reduce your risk of sustaining a cold weather emergency by taking a few simple precautions:
- Dress with warm insulating layers closer to the body, covering with wind and waterproof layers on the outside.
- Make sure your cellular device is completely charged when you travel.
Prepare Your Vehicle:
- Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level.
- Check your tires’ tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires.
- Keep the gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
- Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. The kit should include:
- Cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries;
- Items to stay warm, such as extra hats, coats, mittens, blankets, or sleeping bags;
- Food and water;
- Booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand (for traction);
- Compass and maps;
- Flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries;
- First-aid kit; and
- Plastic bags (for sanitation).
Safety rules if you become stranded in your vehicle:
• Make your vehicle visible to rescuers. Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna, raise the hood (if it is not snowing), and turn on the inside overhead lights (when your engine is running).
• Move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area. Stay with your vehicle unless safety is no more than 100 yards away.
• Keep your body warm. Wrap your entire body, including your head, in extra clothing, blankets, or newspapers. Huddle with other people if you can.
• Stay awake and stay moving. You will be less vulnerable to cold-related health problems. As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to improve circulation and stay warmer.
• Run the motor (and heater) for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window slightly to let in air. Make sure that snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe—this will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.