Red Cross imploring residents to stay safe during snow, cold


As snow continues to fall on Long Island, the American Red Cross, as it does with each winter storm, has released tips for people to use. In addition to the snowfall, the Red Cross warns residents to be prepared for extreme cold and possible power outages.

"We are ready for storm related emergencies and we advise residents to be safe in these extreme conditions, said Communication Director Michael de Vulpillieres.

To stay prepared, people should take the following steps:

- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information on snowstorms and blizzards from the National Weather Service (NWS).

- Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain, snow or dense fog.
If travel is necessary, make sure you have a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle which includes: shovel, blanket, flashlight, water, snacks, first aid kit, extra batteries, sack of sand or cat litter.

-Keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.

- Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task.

- When shoveling snow, take frequent breaks to avoid risk of injury or cardiac arrest.

- Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.

- Bring pets inside during winter weather.

- Make sure coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and warm clothing are available for all household members, along with extra blankets.

- Eat regular meals and stay hydrated, but avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.


Heating fires are the second leading cause of home fires.

- Keep all potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves, or fireplaces.

- Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home.

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