Winter Weather Safety

Our favorite part about winter weather--Frosty!

Snow! Since winter weather is such a rare occurrence in Alabama, we get excited about the potential for snowball fights, and forget that winter weather can be very dangerous.  While a winter storm can include snow, it also includes ice, black ice, and freezing temperatures.  By knowing the potential dangers and how to deal with them, you can have fun and stay safe.

The most important thing you can do during a severe weather outbreak is stay calm, rational, vigilant, and informed.  Knowing the difference between a watch and a warning is very important.  A watch means that conditions are right for severe weather to occur.  A warning means that severe weather is occurring.  Warnings are issued by the local weather service county-by county, and are given 30 min to an hour in advance. 

The most important piece of equipment you can have for severe weather is a battery operated radio.  A weather radio is great, but any battery operated radio will work so you can keep track of severe weather if the power should go out.  Also, have a flashlight and extra batteries handy in case of power outages.

Don't let this be you! Stay smart and stay safe!

For a comprehensive list of safety precautions for you, your family, and your property, you can visit the weather channel’s website or you can check out FEMA’s emergency kit list. Here are some tips for keeping you safe during a severe winter weather outbreak:

  • Keep your heat at least on 55, especially if you are planning to go out of town. That will prevent pipes from bursting. Remember, if a pipe bursts, it will be repaired at your expense.
  • Save on heating and cooling by purchasing clear plastic covering for your windows.
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet way from furnishings, drapes, and all flammable objects. Turn them off when you leave a room. Fires are a forgotten danger during winter weather.
  • If you have a fireplace, have it inspected before use.
  • Be careful walking on icy surfaces.  That beautiful snow could have ice underneath, and a trip to the emergency room could hinder your chances of building Frosty.
  • Do not drive unless absolutely necessary.  We Alabamians do not have experience driving in icy conditions, and many wrecks could be avoided if we would just stay put until the roads are safe.
  • If you go outside to re-create the Battle of Hoth on the Quad, please dress appropriately. Frostbite and hypothermia are real party-poopers.

If you are interested in reading in-depth coverage about severe weather please visit:

*These websites also serve as my references, as well as, years of watching severe weather coverage from ABC 33/40’s James Spann. I am a total dork.

ABC 33/40’s weather team also keeps an informative weather blog, and I highly recommend it to keep track of local weather forecasts.

Please keep in mind that this post was not meant to alarm you, but to make you think about things you can do to keep yourself and your property safe during severe weather outbreaks. Remember, there is nothing we can do to prevent Mother Nature except be informed and take proper precautions.

À la prochain,
Kim

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