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Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter

Categories: Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, Severe Weather

Cold weather has already hit many areas of the United States. Winter weather does present challenges, but you can remain safe and healthy if you are prepared to meet them.

Indoor Safety

You may prefer to remain indoors in the winter as much as possible, but staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm even if you lose power.

  • Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies: keep grills and generators out of the house and garage. Position generators at least 20 feet from the house.
  • Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.
  • Keep an emergency kit up-to-date

What’s in an emergency kit?

Read CDC’s winter weather feature article to learn more.

Outdoor Safety

You may need or choose to spend time outdoors in the winter working, traveling, or enjoying winter sports. Outdoor activities can expose you to several safety hazards, but you can take these steps to prepare for them:

  • Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.
  • Sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy patches.
  • Follow outdoor safety precautions and learn safety rules to follow in case you become stranded in your car.

Do you follow safety precautions?

Read CDC’s winter weather feature article to learn more about winter safety precautions to follow when outdoors or when stranded in a car.

Important Reminder

Above all, be prepared to check on family and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.

And remember, spring is not that far away!

 

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  • Page last updated: December 2, 2013
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