COLUMBUS – Winter offers a variety of enjoyable cold weather activities such as sledding, skiing, and ice skating. However, it is important to be prepared for the potential hazards that come with the season.
Ohio's Winter Safety Awareness Week will be recognized November 12-18, 2023. The week provides the perfect opportunity for residents to get prepared for the possible impacts of snow, ice, blizzards, freezing rain, and flooding, as well as the occasional severe thunderstorms or tornadoes that may occur.
"Winter is the season of comfort and warmth, but it also demands our vigilance and caution, said Jeffrey J. Young, Director of Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security. "I encourage everyone to take advantage of Winter Safety Awareness Week and help make every step in the snow a secure one."
Residents are encouraged to be prepared for all types of winter weather by following these important safety procedures:
Prepare Your Home: Insulate your home to conserve heat and reduce energy costs. Ensure your heating system is in good working order and have it serviced if necessary. Install weather stripping and seal any drafts to keep cold air out.
Winterize Your Vehicle: Check your car's tires, brakes, and battery to ensure they're in good condition. Keep an emergency kit in your car with items such as blankets, food, water, and a flashlight.
Stay Informed: Monitor weather forecasts and be prepared for changing conditions. Sign up for ALERT Franklin County and/or FCReady alerts and notifications.
Dress Appropriately: Layer clothing to stay warm, and don't forget a hat, gloves, and a scarf. Choose appropriate footwear with good traction to prevent slipping on icy surfaces.
Safe Driving: Clear snow and ice from your vehicle before driving. Increase following distances and drive at a reduced speed in snowy or icy conditions. Be cautious when braking, accelerating, and turning.
Prevent Frostbite and Hypothermia: Be aware of the signs and symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia and seek medical attention if you or someone you know experiences them. Limit time spent outdoors in extremely cold weather.
Shovel and Salt with Caution: When shoveling snow, take breaks to prevent overexertion, and use proper lifting techniques. Spread salt or sand on sidewalks and driveways to prevent slips and falls.
Plan for Emergencies: Have an emergency plan for your family, including a communication plan and an emergency supply kit. Ensure your home is equipped with a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector.