The adage “knowledge is power” rings especially true for us up in New Hampshire; giant storms aren’t called nor’easters for nothing, after all. We pride ourselves on our ability to deal with the deep snows and unpredictable weather as though it’s business as usual. So in the spirit of powerful knowledge and being able to carry on, November is a great time to perk up your winter-weather preparedness kit. What’s that? You didn’t have a kit last year, so you don’t have one to perk up this year? Then let’s start with the basics.
Check the weather before you head out on the road. If the weather is expected to be difficult, delay or cancel plans to be out. Stay at home and listen for further emergency information and alerts. Charge your cell phone, find your flashlights, and check their batteries. If possible, check on your neighbors to make sure they are ok, too. If the power goes out and you run a generator, remember only to use them outside, and at least 20 feet away from doors, vents, and windows, so the deadly carbon monoxide gas doesn’t enter your house.
Your in-home kit should have enough food, water, and medications for each member of your household for 72-hours, plus a small first aid kit. Food should be no-cook unless you are sure you will be able to cook even with the power out. Granola, canned tuna fish, crackers, and dried or freeze-dried fruits are all good options. Plan one gallon of water per day for each person in the family. This kit is a great spot to put another flashlight and extra batteries while you’re at it.
If you need to be exposed to the weather, do it for as short a time as possible and watch for signs of frostbite; numb, white, grayish or waxy-looking skin and hypothermia; a body temperature below 95 degrees causing shivering, exhaustion, confusion, and drowsiness. Winter is known as heart attack season to many medical providers. The combination of cold temperatures, and strenuous activities – like shoveling snow, causes a spike in heart attacks this time of year.
If you must be on the roads, dress warmly, let someone know when you are leaving, where you are going, and when you arrive. Fill your gas tank, take your cell phone, and make sure to pack your emergency car kit. Your car kit will be different from the home one since it should have things like: jumper cables, a small tool kit, ice scraper, a blanket, cat litter or sand for traction, reflectors for your car, and a spare tire and jack. It should also have some of the same stuff as your home kit, like flashlights with extra batteries, water, snacks, and a first aid kit. Tuck a spare pair of dry gloves, shoes, and socks inside a snow hat, and add a gas can, and a small foldable shovel if you have room in the car.
Franklin VNA & Hospice wants you to help yourself and your loved ones this winter season by staying safe and being prepared.
You have a choice in your Homecare and Hospice provider.
Choose local. Choose Excellence. Choose Franklin VNA & Hospice.
For more information, call Franklin VNA & Hospice at (603) 934-3454 or visit FranklinVNA.org.