Winter is the season for celebrating holidays, building snowmen and enjoying cozy evenings by the fireplace. It can also be the season for ice, sleet and snowstorms.
Fortunately, you can take several precautions to protect your home and family from dangerous winter weather.
By following the winter safety tips on the checklist below, you can help ensure that your winter season remains as safe and comfortable as possible.
Click on the image below to download a printable PDF version of the Winter Safety Checklist.
Winter Weather Hazards
In addition to following winter safety tips, it helps to have a full understanding of the various threats associated with extreme weather.
What are the biggest dangers during a winter storm? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the most hazardous place is behind the wheel – about 70 percent of deaths related to winter storms take place in cars. The other leading threats include heart attacks from overexertion, frequently related to strenuous activity like shoveling snow, and hypothermia.
What is wind chill factor? The combination of cold temperatures and wind speed defines the wind chill factor. Using the NOAA’s online wind chill calculator, you can see that 10 mph winds combined with an air temperature of 35 degrees results in a wind chill temperature of 27 degrees. Because it accelerates heat loss from the body, wind chill increases the risk of hypothermia and frostbite.
What defines a blizzard? The National Weather Service classifies a blizzard as a snowstorm with these conditions:
- Winds of 35 mph or higher
- Duration of 3 or more hours
- Falling and/or blowing snow that reduces visibility to less than one-quarter of a mile
The formal definition of a blizzard does not include extreme cold. Nevertheless, when temperatures below 20 degrees do occur simultaneously with high winds and low visibility, conditions become that much more hazardous.
Make Your Winter Safety Plan Today!
Now that you have some winter safety tips and the winter safety checklist, get a head start on keeping your home and family safe. When the weather turns cold and the icy winds start blowing, be ready to put your winter safety plan into action.