Some tips to help you safely stay warm during the wintry weather this weekend

Local News

A snow plow travels down a street in Tenino, Wash. on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021. Several inches of snow fell overnight in the south sound area which made traveling a challenge on many parts of Thurston County. (Steve Bloom/The Olympian via AP)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The American Red Cross has some tips to help you stay warm — while staying safe — during the wintry weather that’s expected this weekend.

“The best way to stay safe in winter weather is to prepare your home, family and pets before temperatures drop, and snow and ice start to fall,” said Barry Porter, the nonprofit’s regional CEO for eastern North Carolina.

“The Red Cross encourages families to be mindful when heating their homes with space heaters, to dress in layers before going outside, and bring pets indoors,” he said.

AT HOME

— Fatal fires peak in the early morning hours when most people are asleep. So be mindful that space heaters, fireplaces and wood and coal stoves pose a fire hazard.

— Keep children, pets and flammable objects at least three feet from heating equipment.

— If you must use a space heater, keep it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface, and turn it off every time you leave the room or go to sleep.

— Plug power cords directly into outlets — never into extension cords.

— Never leave a fire in a fireplace unattended, and use a glass or metal fire screen.

— Never heat your home with a cooking range, oven or charcoal or gas grill.

WHEN OUTSIDE

— Wear layered clothing, hand coverings and a hat. 

— Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from cold air.

— Look for signs of hypothermia.

— Keep dry, and change wet clothes often to prevent a loss of body heat.

— Before you go outside, stretch to warm up your body — especially if you are about to shovel snow.

— Avoid overexertion — such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a vehicle or walking in deep snow — because the strain and labor could cause a heart attack and sweating could lead to hypothermia.

IN THE CAR

— Keep some things in your car: A windshield scraper, small broom, a small sack of sand (to create traction under wheels) and tire chains or traction mats, matches (in a waterproof container), a brightly colored (red, preferably) cloth to tie to the antenna and an emergency supply kit that includes warm clothing.

— Keep your gas tank full.

— Don’t follow other vehicles closely.

— Don’t use cruise control.

— Don’t pass snowplows.

— If you become stranded, stay in the car and wait for help. Do not leave to search for help unless it is visible within 100 yards. To keep warm, run the engine occasionally — 10 minutes each hour, or 5 minutes every half an hour — to conserve fuel and reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow and slightly open a downwind window for ventilation.

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