Winter is here, and that means more time hunkering down indoors and trying to stay warm. But snuggling up with a warm mug of hot chocolate isn’t always going to be enough! According to the CDC, young children and the elderly are disproportionately affected by hypothermia and carbon monoxide poisoning during the winter months. Often this results from failure to prepare for weather-related emergencies or improper maintenance of heating systems. The checklist below contains a few crucial steps that you can take now to help prepare your family for whatever this winter may bring.
Check your home’s heating systems:
- Make sure that all heating systems are clean, working properly, and vented to the outside.
- Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
- Install smoke detectors and test batteries monthly.
- Have a safe back-up heating source and fuel.
- Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies by:
- installing a carbon monoxide detector,
- being aware of and alert for the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, and
- keeping generators and grills out of the house.
Prepare for weather-related emergencies and power outages:
- Stow a broom and a shovel in a handy spot (to clear leaves and snow from walkways, driveways, and low lying vents).
- Consider investing in a generator; the upfront cost may seem high, but it can save you money in the long run by making your home habitable in case of long-term power loss, and preventing the loss of perishables.
- Stock a supply of food that does not require cooking or refrigeration and water.
- Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including:
- battery-operated flashlights, radios, and lamps;
- spare batteries;
- a stocked first-aid kit and extra medicine;
- baby items (i.e. jar foods, powdered formula, etc.); and
- rock salt, cat litter, or sand for icy walkways.
You'll all enjoy snuggling up together indoors a little more if you know you've done everything you can to plan ahead for the safety and comfort of your family, should an emergency arise!
- Destination Mom