Four Quick Safety Tips to Prepare for the Winter Weather

Winter storms can range from a few flurries to dangerous blizzard conditions. Use these tips to make sure you’re prepared for whatever the winter weather has in store!

December 06, 2018 | HF Healthy Living Team

Check out this quick list below to make sure you stay stress-free and are fully prepared this winter season.

Know the Difference Between Terms

  • Winter Weather Advisory: These conditions could be dangerous and cause delays. This calls for a combination of snow, freezing rain, sleet, etc.
  • Winter Storm Warning: Severe winter weather will start within 24 hours. Proper precautions should be taken right away to prevent life-threatening hazards. There is a high chance of heavy snow or ice.
  • Winter Storm Watch: This means a storm could be approaching within 36 to 48 hours, and people should go over their storm plans.
  • Winter Storm Outlook: There could be a storm within the next two to five days.

Stay Protected in an Emergency

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You should always be prepared if the power goes out during a storm, so here are some tips to stay safe, especially if you lose heat:

  • Know who to call. Click here for important numbers and info if you lose power.
  • Hang blankets over open spaces like doors and windows to protect your home from drafts, and try to stay in the warmest area.
  • Turn on your faucets for a steady drip to keep the pipes from freezing.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and do not heat your home with an oven. Learn more about carbon monoxide facts here.
  • Make sure you have flashlights and batteries before a storm.
  • Layer up with scarves, coats, gloves, etc. to keep warm.
  • Eat plenty of nutritious food to keep your energy up and stay hydrated.

Know How to Properly Remove Snow

Snow shoveling causes a number of injuries—and even deaths—each year. It can be easy to injure yourself if you don’t take the proper precautions. Make sure to:

  • Take your time and stretch out first.
  • Push the snow rather than lift it.
  • Lift with your legs instead of your back.
  • Take breaks, and never wait until you’re exhausted.
  • Speak with your doctor first if you have a history of heart disease or a medical condition.
  • Stop if you feel dizzy or experience tightness in your chest.
  • Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from the cold air.

Get some tips on exercising outside this winter to keep safe during your workout routine as well.

Lend a Helping Hand

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Seniors, infants, and people with paralysis have a higher chance of getting hypothermia or frostbite. Try to help others by checking to make sure they’re protected from the cold. Here are some other things you can do:

  • If you see someone who needs help, contact 311 for additional resources.
  • Know the signs of hypothermia and frostbite: paleness, slurred speech, shivering, shallow breathing, numbness, and pins and needles.
  • If you see someone who might have hypothermia, bring them somewhere warm and call 911 for help. If medical help is unavailable, rewarm the person at their core (chest and abdomen), instead of their arms and legs. Warming arms and legs first can lead to harmful conditions like heart failure.

After you prepare yourself for the weather this season, check out the many ways to keep yourself and your family busy with the best places to celebrate winter in New York City.


© 2018 HF Management Services, LLC.

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

“Be Red Cross Ready,” Accessed December 12, 2016.

“Snow Storms and Extreme Cold,” Accessed December 12, 2016.

“Why Do People Die Shoveling Snow,” Accessed December 13, 2016.

“Utility Disruptions,” Accessed December 14, 2016.

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