Taking caution amidst extreme winter weather

Taking caution amidst extreme winter weather

Monday, January 23, 2023

Winter weather conditions can be difficult to navigate in general, but staying warm and safe in an environment experiencing a high risk of freezing temperatures and heavy precipitation can become dangerous quickly. This makes preparing for winter even more important.

Hoosiers should plan ahead and remain aware of the following safety tips provided by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS).

To prepare your vehicle for winter weather:

  • Maintain at least a half tank of gas;
  • Check your tire pressure;
  • Avoid washing your vehicle as lingering water will freeze in your car's locking mechanism and make it difficult to open doors; and
  • Compile an emergency kit that includes a cell phone charger, first-aid kid, shovel, flashlight with fresh batteries, jumper cables, windshield washer fluid, ice scraper, blankets, extra clothing including hats and gloves, drinking water and non-perishable snacks.

In the event of a power outage:

  • Notify the electric utility company right away;
  • Gather everyone in the most insulated and interior room available;
  • Close off unused rooms, blinds or curtains to help your house stay warm and avoid wasting heat;
  • Stay warm by wearing layers of loose-fitting, lightweight and warm clothing;
  • Turn off and unplug most electronic devices to avoid a power surge;
  • Leave one light on to know when the power has been restored;
  • Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed to keep food frozen for up to at least 24 hours; and
  • Consider taking the time to check on neighbors, especially those with medical conditions.

Additionally, the IDHS recommends Hoosiers remain cognizant of the statewide county travel status map when considering travel to and from work, school, medical or other commitments. The map highlights each county in red, orange or yellow when traveling in winter weather is expected to be highly or likely dangerous for commuters. To view the map, click here.

When faced with extreme winter conditions, it is important to prepare for any unfortunate circumstance as best as you can in order to better navigate the season and keep yourself, loved ones and other Hoosiers safe.

For more information, click here