240 Parsons - 2008

Contact Information Columbus Public Health
240 Parsons Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: (614) 645-7417

Winter Weather: Prepare and Prevent

Be familiar with winter weather terms so that you can know how to be deal with weather on the way.    

car in snowYou can also be ready by having the right supplies on hand at home and in your car.  

Know Weather Terms

  • Freezing Rain  - Coating of ice on roads and walkways.
  • Sleet  - Rain that turns to ice pellets, causes roads to freeze and become slippery.
  • inter Weather Advisory  - Cold, ice and snow are expected.
  • Winter Storm Watch  - Severe weather, such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or two.
  • Winter Storm Warning - Severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon.

Prepare Your Home

  • Keep emergency supplies on hand, like blankets; matches; first aid kit; flashlight; battery powered radio; extra batteries; non-electric can opener; prescription medication; food; water; and, other special items such as diapers.
  • Keep a supply of basics (non-cooked items), such as bread, peanut butter, and dried fruits.
  • Have bottled water (5 gallons per person) in case water pipes freeze or rupture.
  • Be very careful if using a wood stove, fireplace, space heater, or another type of heater. About heating safely

Prepare Your Car

  • Have your tires checked before winter to see if they should be replaced.
  • Keep an emergency kit - blankets; first aid kit; collapsible shovel; blanket, dried fruit, flashlight with extra batteries; and a windshield scraper.
  • Travel with a charged cell phone.

Sign Up for Weather Alerts
ALERT Franklin County alerts you of severe weather such as lightning, tornadoes, thunderstorms, hail, ice, snow, extreme temperatures, high winds, flash floods, and flooding. Register online at www.alertfranklincounty.org. 

Local Heating Resources

The Breathing Association's Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) -www.BreathingAssociation.org

Dress Warmly and Eat Right

  • In extremely cold temperatures, try to stay indoors.  Make outdoor trips brief and dress in several layers of loose clothing to reduce body heat loss. 
  • Stay dry – wet clothing rapidly chills the body. And, because most body heat is lost through the head, wear a warm hat, as well as mittens which are warmer than gloves.
  • Eat regularly. Food provides calories that maintain body heat.

Shovel Snow with Caution

  • If you have heart disease or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice about shoveling snow or other hard work in the cold. If you do shovel snow, take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water.
  • Wear shoes that provide traction and watch your step on icy and slippery surfaces.

Watch for Hypothermia

  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia – slurred speech, confusion, uncontrollable shivering, stumbling, drowsiness and body temperature of less than 95° F. Get immediate medical attention if you think someone has frostbite or hypothermia.
  • Get out of wet clothes immediately and warm the core body temperature with a blanket and warm fluids. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.

Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Use a fireplace, wood stove or other combustion heater only if they are properly vented to the outside.  Ensure adequate ventilation if you must use a space heater.
  • Never use an electric generator indoors, inside the garage, or near the air-intake of your house because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Never use a charcoal or gas grill inside – the fumes are deadly.
  • Install a smoke detector and battery operated carbon monoxide detector.  Check them frequently and replace the batteries as needed.