“We are encouraging everyone to prepare for what is expected to be the biggest snowfall of the season,” said LaMar Holliday, regional communications director for the American Red Cross – Indiana Region. “The American Red Cross stands ready to support communities who may need our assistance during this storm.”
• Stay indoors and wear warm clothes. Layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing will keep you warmer than a bulky sweater. If you feel too warm, remove layers to avoid sweating; if you feel chilled, add layers.
• Listen to a local station on battery-powered radio or television or to NOAA Weather Radio for updated emergency information.
• Bring your companion animals inside before the storm begins.
• Move other animals to sheltered areas with a supply of non-frozen water. Most animal deaths in winter storms are caused by dehydration.
• Check on relatives, neighbors, and friends, particularly if they are elderly or if they live alone.
OUTDOORS (if you must go outside):
• Make any trips outside as brief as possible.
• Wear layered clothing, mittens or gloves, and a hat. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Mittens or gloves and a hat will prevent the loss of body heat.
• Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from severely cold air. Avoid taking deep breaths; minimize talking.
• Watch for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.
DRIVING IN WINTER CONDITIONS:
• Check your vehicle emergency supplies kit and replenish it if necessary.
• Bring enough of the following for each person:
o Blankets or sleeping bags
o Rain gear, extra sets of dry clothing, mittens, socks, and wool hats
o Newspapers for insulation
o Plastic bags for sanitation
o Canned fruit, nuts, and high energy snacks (Include a non-electric can opener if necessary)
o Warm broth in a thermos and several bottles of water
o Keep a cell phone or two-way radio with you. Make sure the battery is charged.
o Plan to travel during daylight and, if possible, take at least one other person with you.
• Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your vehicle gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
• Before leaving, listen to weather reports for your area and the areas you will be passing through, or call the state highway patrol for the latest road conditions.
IF YOU BECOME STRANDED:
• Stay in the vehicle and wait for help. Do not leave the vehicle to search for assistance unless help is visible within 100 yards. You can quickly become disoriented and confused in blowing snow.
• Display a trouble sign to indicate you need help. Hang a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) on the radio antenna and raise the hood after snow stops falling.
• Run the engine occasionally to keep warm. Turn on the engine for about 10 minutes each hour (or five minutes every half hour). Running the engine for only short periods reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and conserves fuel.
• Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so that you can be seen.
People can download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to weather alerts for their area and where loved ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any mishaps. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.