Preparing yourself, your family, and your community this winter can help take away the stress of the holiday season! The Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services wants to provide you with helpful tips and tricks that you can do this winter because small actions can make a big difference during an emergency.
Winter Weather Safety
Serious health problems can result from prolonged exposure to the cold. The most common cold-related problems are hypothermia and frostbite.
Hypothermia vs. Frostbite
Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposures to very cold temperatures. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it’s produced. Lengthy exposures will eventually use up your body’s stored energy, which leads to lower body temperature. Populations that are at high risk for hypothermia include older adults, babies, people who remain outside for long periods of time, and people who drink alcohol or use illicit drugs.
Frostbite is a type of injury caused by freezing. It leads to a loss of feeling and color in the areas it affects, usually extremities such as the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, and toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation (removing the affected body part). People who are at high risk for frostbite are people with poor blood circulation and people who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.
For more information, visit the CDC's website.
Staying Safe During a Winter Storm
- Know your area’s risk for winter storms. Extreme winter weather can leave communities without utilities or other services for long periods of time.
- Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking, and weather stripping. Learn how to keep pipes from freezing. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups.
- Pay attention to weather reports and warnings of freezing weather and winter storms. Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
- Create an emergency supply kit for your car. Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks. Keep the gas tank full.
For more information, visit ready.gov.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled. When power outages occur during natural disasters and other emergencies, the use of alternative sources of fuel or electricity for heating or cooking can cause CO to build up in a home, garage, or camper and to poison the people and animals inside.