Updated: Oct 17, 2022
(La Junta, CO) — As colder weather approaches, don’t let Mother Nature catch you off guard. Hundreds of Americans are injured or killed each winter due to car accidents on slick roads and by home fires caused by improper use of heaters. In addition, winter storms create a higher risk of hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks due to overexertion.
Because wintertime brings its own set of challenges to staying safe, Southeast Colorado Power Association reminds you prepare for extreme weather and to stay home during storms and their aftermath whenever possible.
“Do all you can to prepare ahead of time for whatever Mother Nature throws at us, since an ice storm, snowfall or white-out conditions could hit for days ata time,” advises Southeast Colorado Communications Association’s Anne Boswell, “And when it’s icy there’s nowhere you really have to be that’s worth risking your life to get there.”
Signing up for weather alerts to go to your phone is a great way to know what’s coming, and make sure you have a portable charger and extra batteries.
In preparing for a storm, be sure to:
Consider special needs or medical issues in your home, have enough of your medicine.
Food that’s non-perishable and water are vital along with a first-aid kit.
Prepare for weather events year-round by keeping a checklist of items to have on hand.
Now is a good time to make sure your home has insulation, caulking and weather stripping. Learn how to keep pipes from freezing. Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups and test them to make sure they work.
Stay home during snow and ice storms and wait until roads are passable.
If you do travel and drive into extreme conditions, do not leave your car to look for help. Your car should also be equipped with a first-aid kit, portable car charger and batteries, blankets, water, snacks, a windshield scraper, extra hats, coats and mittens or gloves; also, a good idea are tire chains; canned and compressed air with sealant for emergency tire repair; booster cables; emergency flares; and road salt and sand for traction.
If you’re at home and the power goes out, please know we at Southeast Colorado Power Association will restore power as safely and efficiently as possible. Do not turn on the stove for heat; it is not safe. Instead, use blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats.
When it comes to portable heaters, follow all instructions for use and do not:
· Place any clothing on or near a portable heater
· Put a portable heater up on the counter or other surface
· Place on rugs or near papers or anything else that could ignite; make sure there is 3 feet of unobstructed area, and don’t leave it unattended.
When using a portable generator for power, never use it indoors and make sure it is not close to any windows, doorways or air-intake vents. Never touch it with wet hands or use in areas with rain, snow, or standing water.
For additional safety tips, go to SafeElectricity.org.