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 Post subject: Red Cross Prepare For Winter
Post Posted: Oct 11, 2017 8:46 pm 
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Red Cross Prepare For Winter
Volunteer Michelle Adams

Prepare For winter

With the colder weather getting closer, the American Red Cross encourages residents to prepare now before winter.

- Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Install storm shutters, doors and windows; clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks; and check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow–or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.

- Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
- Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.

- Prepare your outdoor pets for winter. If they can’t come inside, make sure they will have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they will have access to unfrozen water.

- Store drinking water, first aid kit, canned/no-cook food, non-electric can opener, radio, flashlight and extra batteries where you can get them easily, even in the dark.

- Keep cars and other vehicles fueled and in good repair, with a winter emergency kit in each.

- Get a NOAA Weather Radio to monitor severe weather.

- Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends and neighbors.

- Download the Red Cross First Aid app to ensure that you know how to respond to any first aid emergency
in case 1st responders are delayed by winter weather.
Additional tips:
Heat your home safely:
Heating systems are running at full force and many people are resorting to other sources to keep their homes warm. To avoid fire danger, you should remember the following:

Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.

If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.

Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.

If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

Use generators correctly – never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

Put together a disaster kit
Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
Extra batteries
First aid kit
Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)
Multi-purpose tool
Sanitation and personal hygiene items
Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
Cell phone with chargers
Family and emergency contact information
Extra cash
Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
Tools/supplies for securing your home
Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery
Warm coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and extra blankets and warm clothing for all household members
Ample alternate heating methods such as fireplaces or wood- or coal-burning stoves

Additional Helpful Tips

Tips to Winterize your Car

These come equipped with rubber that keeps ice from collecting on the blades. Just be sure to remove them when spring rolls around. As winter wipers are heavier than regular ones, keeping them on all the time increases the risk of burning the motor out too soon.

If you live in a place that experiences extreme cold winter temperatures, it is recommended that you install winter tires when winterizing your car. When the temperature consistently hovers around or below freezing, the rubber compounds in non-winter tires harden, decreasing the tire’s ability to grip the road. Winter tires use special compounds engineered to resist hardening in cold temperatures, providing better traction.

You should definitely have snow tires installed with plenty of time to spare before extreme winter weather arrives. We say, if you can see your breath, it’s time to install winter tires.

When driving in snow and ice, you may use a lot of washer fluid in an effort to keep your windshield clean. In order to properly winterize your car, maintain a nearly full washer fluid reservoir and consider keeping a spare bottle or two in the trunk.

In the event of an emergency, you’ll be glad you kept supplies on hand. Here are some things to pack in your winter driving safety kit:

Ice scraper
Bag of sand and a shovel
Cell phone
First aid kit
Extra antifreeze
Flashlight and batteries
Car tool kit
Jumper cables
Warm clothing: Extra jacket, hat, socks, boots, Sleeping Bag incase stranded
Non-perishable food and beverage items
Pack of matches

Perhaps the most important precaution for safe winter driving – and one that many winterizing a car lists overlook – is servicing your vehicle. If you’re not doing it regularly, be sure to do it as soon as there’s a chill in the air.

Belts and hoses, spark plugs, wires and cables: these can go bad at any time of year, but if they go bad during the winter, you could be stranded in a very cold place for a very long time – and that could be dangerous.

When you get your vehicle serviced, be sure the technician checks the following:

Battery and charging system
Antifreeze and cooling system
Just because your battery works fine now doesn’t mean it will in sub-freezing temperatures. Cars can be harder to start in the winter and may need a powerful, high-performing battery. A good battery for winter driving will bear the 600 CCA (cold cranking amps) rating. It is recommended that your auto care provider can install a battery at or above 600 CCA for optimal winter performance.

As for the cooling system, it is recommended to maintain a ratio between 50/50 and 70/30 of antifreeze to water. You can always use the well-known, green-colored antifreeze, but some engines also take a newer, longer-lasting coolant that may or may not be green in color. Ask your technician which is best for your engine. Also confirm the appropriate coolant to water ratio for your situation.

Every 10 degree change in ambient temperature could mean a gain or loss of 1 PSI. This means you should check pressure more regularly during winter and refill your tires as needed. Appropriate pressure for your tires can be found on the tire placard in the driver’s side door jamb or in your vehicle owner’s manual.

Fill up often! Keeping gas in the tank is more important in winter than in summer. Why? For one thing, a full tank can help prevent gas line freeze ups. Not only that, but if you’re ever stranded, your engine may be the only thing to keep you warm until help arrives.

Being unable to see behind you could create unsafe driving conditions. That’s why several states have laws stating that all your windows must be clear of condensation and debris. When winterizing your car, check your rear-window defroster before cold weather arrives to be sure it’s working properly.

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