Prepare for Safety in Extreme Cold

Friday, January 3, 2014 - 12:10pm

Extreme cold temperatures have their own set of rules for safety. There is much you can do now to prepare for it. The City of Madison Fire Department reminds residents that preparation is key for safety at home, on the job, and on the road. Start planning now to stay safe during the days ahead. Remember that one of the most important things you can do to create a safer community is to check in on neighbors and others who may need additional assistance.

At Home 

  • Keep several days’ supply of water, non-perishable food, and medicine. Remember baby food and formula is you have young children, as well as pet supplies.
  • Check your supply of batteries for flashlights, radios, clocks, smoke alarms and CO alarms
  • If you have a digital or programmable thermostat, consider changing the battery now, before it fails and your furnace will not start.
  • Ensure that smoke alarms and CO alarms are in good working condition
  • Place an easy-to-read thermometer in an indoor location where you will see it frequently, and check the temperature of your home often during the winter months.
  • Check on older adults and those who are in fragile health, preferably by telephone. Offer to get their mail or run errands.

On the Road

  • You can avoid many dangerous winter travel problems by planning ahead.
  • If you think your car battery needs to be replaced, do it now – don’t wait. Wait times for roadside service or a tow can be 3-4 hours.
  • Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
  • Replace any worn tires, and check the air pressure in the tires
  • Keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines, and to ensure you won’t run out if your trip takes longer than expected.
  • Equip your car with (at minimum) blankets, a first aid kit, a windshield scraper, booster cables, a bag of sand or cat litter (to pour on ice or snow for added traction), boots, gloves, and a hat.
  • Please look out for others. If you see a stranded motorist, call for help.

Always carry a mobile phone so you can call for help in an emergency, even if it’s just a trip to the mailbox.

Stay indoors if at all possible, re-schedule non-essential appointments.

Remember that extreme weather puts a strain on resources at all levels. Consider supporting organizations that care for members of the community with limited means.