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Thursday, December 20, 2012

American Red Cross Offers Preparedness and Safety Tips for Winter Weather Conditions

American Red Cross Offers Preparedness and Safety Tips for Winter Weather Conditions
National Weather Service Issues Winter Weather Warning in McKean County

BRADFORD, Pa. – The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Warning for the local area, including McKean County, through Saturday evening. The local American Red Cross encourages all community members to be prepared, to help ensure their loved ones stay safe this holiday season and throughout the winter months.

As the winter season brings snow fall, heavy winds and icy conditions, the local Red Cross encourages area residents to take the necessary safety precautions when in the home, car or outdoors.

· MAKE A KIT: Pack a winter-specific supply kit that includes a warm coat, hat, mittens or gloves and water-resistant boots, along with extra blankets and extra warm clothing. Sand or kitty litter is good to have on-hand to help make walkways or steps less slippery. Additionally, make sure a first aid kit is available, it should be equipped with essential medications, canned food, can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio.

· BE INFORMED: Review winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions via NOAA Weather radio, or local media outlets. A winter storm WATCH means winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours.

· PREPARE THE HOME AND CAR: Winterize vehicles and keep the gas tank full, which will help to keep the fuel line from freezing. Make sure the home is properly insulated by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep the cold air out. Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.

· TRAVEL SAFELY: Always travel with the seatbelt fastened. Bring a fully-charged cell phone on the trip; inform a friend, coworker or loved one of destinations and planned routes, so help can easily be sent in the event of an emergency. For maximum visibility, keep headlights on and clear all windows and mirrors of snow and ice. Also, keep a disaster supplies travel kit in the vehicle.

· STAY WARM: It is essential to dress correctly before going outside. Dressing in warm layers helps the body retain heat. Since most of the body’s heat is lost through the head, wear a hat, preferably one that covers the ears. Mittens provide more warmth for the hands than gloves, and waterproof, insulated boots will help protect against hypothermia or frostbite. Once inside, change out of wet clothes immediately, and warm up from the inside with a blanket and warm fluids like hot cider or soup. However, be careful to avoid alcohol and caffeine, especially in potential cases of hypothermia.

For more information on winter preparedness, visit the Winter Storm Page, located on

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