Indiana Region of the American Red Cross recommend safety tips ahead of impending winter storm

Last Updated on February 14, 2021 by American Red Cross

SOURCE: News release from American Red Cross

INDIANAPOLIS — The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Winter Storm Warning across the entire Indiana Region effective this evening through 7 a.m. Tuesday. Forecasters expect up to 11 inches of snow across the region.

“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.”

SAFETY TIPS

INDOORS:

  • 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:
    • Blankets or sleeping bags
    • Rain gear, extra sets of dry clothing, mittens, socks, and wool hats
    • Newspapers for insulation
    • Plastic bags for sanitation
    • Canned fruit, nuts, and high energy snacks (Include a non-electric can opener if necessary)
    • Warm broth in a thermos and several bottles of water
    • Keep a cell phone or two-way radio with you. Make sure the battery is charged.
    • 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.

About the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross: The Indiana Region serves 104 counties across Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois through its six-chapter areas: Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and Greater Indianapolis (Regional Headquarters). For more information on the Indiana Region: www.redcross.org/indiana. Follow the Indiana Region on Twitter at: @INRedCross, on Instagram at: @indianaredcross or www.facebook.com/INRedCross.

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.