With the warmer weather the past few weeks it's always a good idea to brush up on some safety tips provided by the National Weather Service. And join me tomorrow morning at 7 when I discuss avalanche safety and awareness with Mark Staples of Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.
When caught in a Winter Storm Outside
• Try to stay dry.
• Cover all exposed body parts.
• Build a lean-to, windbreak or snow cave for protection from the wind.
• Build a fire for heat and to attract attention.
• Place rocks around the fire to absorb and reflect heat.
Melt snow for drinking water:
• Eating snow will lower your body temperature.
In a Vehicle - Stay in vehicle:
• You will become quickly disoriented in wind-driven snow and cold.
• Run the motor about 10 minutes each hour for heat.
• Open the window a little for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked.
Be visible to rescuers:
• Turn on the dome light at night when running the engine.
• Tie a colored cloth, preferably red, to your antenna or door.
• After snow stops falling, raise the hood to indicate you need help.
• From time to time, move arms, legs, fingers and toes vigorously to keep blood circulating and to keep warm. AVOID OVEREXERTION, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car or walking in deep snow. The strain from the cold and the hard labor may cause a heart attack. Sweating could lead to a chill and hypothermia. Take Red Cross Cardiopulminary Rescue (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training so you can respond quickly to an emergency.
Inside - Stay inside:
• When using alternate heat from a fireplace, wood stove, space
heater, etc., use fire safeguards and properly ventilate.
• Close off unneeded rooms.
• Stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors.
• Cover windows at night.
• Eat and drink. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat. Keep the body replenished with fluids to prevent dehydration.
•Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Remove layers to avoid overheating, perspiration and subsequent chill.