Here are some tips to help residents stay safe:
With this winter storm, temperatures are expected to drop as conditions deteriorate throughout Michiana. People should take the following steps:
• Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information on snow storms and blizzards from the National Weather Service.
• Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain, snow or dense fog.
• If travel is necessary, make sure you have a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle which includes: shovel, blanket, flashlight, water, snacks, first aid kit, extra batteries, sack of sand or cat litter.
• Keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
• Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task.
• When shoveling snow, take frequent breaks to avoid risk of injury or cardiac arrest.
• Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.
• Bring pets inside during winter weather.
• Make sure coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and warm clothing are available for all household members, along with extra blankets.
• Eat regular meals and stay hydrated, but avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
Home heating safety
Heating fires are the second leading cause of home fires.
• Keep all potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves, or fireplaces.
• Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home.
• If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.