Winter Car Kit
The best way to be ready for winter begins with your car. Prepare your vehicle with a winter weather survival kit. It should include:
* Abrasive material for traction like a bag of sand or salt
* Snow shovels and ice scrapers
* A blanket and extra clothing like hats, gloves, and boots
* A flashlight and extra batteries
* Flares or a reflective triangle
* First Aid supplies
* Basic tools
* A fully charged cell phone
* Jumper cables
* Bottled water and nonperishable foods that are high in energy like nuts, candy, or dried beef
* Necessary medications
The best way to avoid being stuck in the snow is to stay home during winter storm conditions. Stay tuned to KIMT 3 for your Storm Team 3 forecast.
Understanding The Wind Chill
With the temperatures dropping, it’s very important to pay attention to the wind chill. The wind chill is a measure of how cold it really feels, combining the effects of wind and cold. As the wind increases, heat is carried away from the body at an accelerated rate, driving down the body temperature.
Avoid Skidding On Ice
It’s a driving hazard that you may not even see. Ice on the roads cause accidents every winter. If you’re driving in icy conditions, maintain a steady speed. Do not quickly accelerate because this can cause skidding. Remember that it takes a lot longer to stop on icy or snow-covered roads, so make sure to leave extra space between you and the car ahead of you. But, what should you do if you begin skidding on ice?
* Look where you want to go and steer in that direction.
* If on ice and you wish to slow down, do not brake, but shift to neutral if you can.
* Above all, do not panic.
Remember, even if you have four wheel drive, it won’t help you in stopping. All vehicles use all four wheels to stop. Your four wheel drive will only help you accelerate.
Driving Through Fog
It may not seem dangerous, but driving through fog can pose a very serious hazard. Thick fog can reduce your visibility to zero. Be safe. Turn on your LOW beam headlights, reduce your speed, and turn off your radio so you can listen for traffic that you may not see. And before heading out, watch for road conditions on KIMT 3. It’s better to delay your drive until the fog clears.
Understanding the Heat Index
On average, 175 Americans die every year because of extreme heat. That’s why the National Weather Service has developed the heat index. The heat index is a measure of how hot it really feels…when the relative humidity is added to the actual air temperature. The higher the heat index, the greater your risk is for heat or sunstroke. When the heat index is high, watch for Extreme Heat Alerts on KIMT 3.
Protecting Pets from Extreme Heat
Iowa and Minnesota summers heat can be dangerous…especially for your pet. An animal can suffer severe heat stroke in just ten minutes. Never leave your pet in a car, or outside where there’s no shade. Some signs that an animal is suffering from heat stroke are heavy panting, wide eyes, or staggering. If you see any of these signs, take your pet into a cool area or them spray down with cold water.
Protecting Yourself From the West Nile Virus
With spring weather comes spring rain and mosquitoes that may carry the west nile virus, but there are some things you can do to avoid exposure. When you’re outdoors, avoid areas with standing water. Dress appropriately, make sure to cover exposed skin with long sleeves and pants. And use repellents with deet. For more information on the west Nile virus, visit the West Nile Virus information page from the Centers for Disease Control.
Staying Safe During a Flash Flood
Flash flooding is not only dangerous, but can be deadly if you don’t know what to do. Never drive through flooded roads. Cars can be swept away in just two feet of moving water. If your car stalls, abandon it and climb to higher ground. Also, avoid walking through flooded areas. Just six inches of moving water is enough to knock you off your feet.
No Shelter from Lightning
What if it starts lightning, and you have no where to go? On average, 80 people are killed nationwide every year from lightning strikes. If there’s no shelter nearby, get to an open space away from trees and power lines. Squat low to the ground as quickly as possible. But, do not lie down.
Driving During Lightning
Do you know what to do if you’re caught on the road during heavy lightning? Don’t leave your car. You’re much safer inside a vehicle than outside. And…Do NOT touch metal objects inside or outside your car.
If you feel your hair standing on end…that’s an indication lightning is about to strike…so stay low.
Watch Vs Warning
Know your lingo…When it comes to thunderstorms, tornadoes and flash flooding…do you know the difference between watches & warnings? A watch suggests that you should remain alert for the possibility of severe weather in your area. An issued warning means that severe weather is imminent and that you should take safety precautions immediately.
Remember to DUCK during a Tornado
Do you know what to do during a tornado? Remember to D.U.C.K.
Move Down to the lowest level
Under something sturdy
Cover your head
Keep yourself in the shelter until the storm passes.
Remember…Never stay in your car. Motor vehicles are hazardous during a tornado or windstorm.
Make a Family Plan Now
Now is the time to plan and prepare for severe Iowa & Minnesota weather. Make sure that your family knows where to go and what to do when severe weather breaks.
Put together your emergency kit including a battery powered radio…Keep a working flashlight handy at all times and store together a collection of nonperishable food items and water.
Discuss the dangers of fire, severe weather, hazardous materials spills, floods and other emergencies. Talk about the ways in which you will respond to each situation.
* Discuss power outages and medical emergencies. Teach children how and when to call 911.
* Draw a floor plan of your home. Mark two escape routes from each room.
* Select two meeting places – one near your home in case of fire, and another that is outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home after a disaster.
* Learn how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at main switches.
* Post emergency numbers near each telephone in your home.
* Instruct family members to turn on the radio for emergency information.
* Take basic CPR and first aid classes.
* Keep important records in a waterproof and fire-proof container.