If You Must Go Out During a Winter Storm:
The best way to stay safe in a snowstorm is not to be out in it. Long periods of exposure to severe cold can result in frostbite or hypothermia. It is easy to become disoriented in blowing snow.
-Stretch before you do so. If you go out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises to warm up your body. This will reduce your chances of muscle injury.
-Avoid overexertion, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car or walking in deep snow.
-Walk carefully on snowy, icy sidewalks. Slips and falls occur frequently in winter weather, resulting in painful and sometimes disabling injury.
-Dress in many layers and wear a hat and mittens or gloves.
-Come inside often for warm-up breaks.
-If you start to shiver or get very tired, or if your nose, fingers, toes, or ear lobes start to feel numb or turn very pale, come inside right away and seek medical assistance. -These are the signs of hypothermia and frostbite and need immediate attention.
-Let someone know your destination, your route and when you expect to arrive.
-If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle and hang a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) on the radio antenna and raise the hood (after snow stops falling)
If you must drive in a storm:
Remember, the leading cause of death during winter storms is vehicle crashes. If at all possible, stay home during winter storms. If you know you will need to travel, prepare your vehicle and know how to react if you are stranded on the road.
-Check your local weather, as well as the weather along your route and at your destination. Check local media for event closings and cancellations. Remember, conditions can deteriorate quickly in a winter storm.
-Check for weather-related road conditions through the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety at www.dps.state.ok.us or by calling toll free, (888) 425-2385 or (405) 425-2385
-Make sure you have plenty of fuel; a good rule of thumb is to keep your fuel tank at least half full
-Always wear your seat belt
-In ice or snow, take it slow; allow ample time to reach your destination
-Bring a cell phone with an emergency roadside assistance number (In case of emergency, you can call the Oklahoma Highway Patrol at *55 or 911)
-Remember that bridges and ramps will be the first to freeze
Make sure your Winter Storm Disaster Supply Kit includes:
-A cell phone with extra battery or two-way radio
-Windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal
-Several blankets or sleeping bags
-Rain gear and extra sets of dry clothing, mittens, socks and a cap
-Non-perishable snacks like canned fruit, nuts and other high energy “munchies.” —-Include non-electric can opener if necessary.
-Several bottles of water. Eating snow will lower your body temperature. If necessary, melt it first.
-A small sack of sand or kitty litter for generating traction under wheels and a set of tire chains or traction mats.
-A first aid kit
-A flashlight with extra batteries
-A brightly colored cloth to tie to the antenna if you get stranded.
Source: Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management