As we enter the holiday season, water safety takes many forms. Storms in particular can be quite dangerous for travelers. For this week’s blog, let’s take a closer look at the dangers of weather and holiday travel.
Cold, Sleet and Snow
Weather and holiday travel can be unnecessarily risky if not taken seriously. Many people are traveling more than usual, in terrains they are unfamiliar with, and for extended periods of time. Of course, the cold and snowy weather doesn’t help. For the colder parts of the country, we are definitely entering a dangerous season. Each year, millions of people are affected by unexpected storms and cold. Besides flooding and hurricanes, coming up are the days of sleet, snow and icy road conditions.
Getting stuck in a storm can be fatal. People exposed to extreme cold are susceptible to frostbite in a matter of minutes. This can be extremely painful and have lasting effects. Additionally, hypothermia is risk when the temperature drops below freezing. This condition happens when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it.
This video offers some basic tips for cold weather safety:
Tracking Weather and Holiday Travel
As always, planning and education are extremely valuable when it comes to avoiding danger. The first step towards staying safe this winter is being prepared for the weather conditions before setting out. That is true for winter weather, water safety, you name it!
Aside from watching meteorologists on television, it pays to sign up for your community’s warning system. Additionally, the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio provide emergency alerts.
Additionally, it pays to understand some of the most commonly used weather terms you may hear when tuning into these alter systems. Let’s go through them together:
Winter Weather Advisory
A Winter Weather Advisory tends to be the lowest grade of alert. Typically, this is made to alert the public of snow, freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and sleet. These warnings tend to signal an inconvenience more than an immediate deadly threat. That said, it is still important to exercise caution.
Winter Storm Watch
Next, a Winter Storm Watch alerts the public to the possibility of a blizzard or other dangerous winter weather conditions. These are usually issued about 12 to 48 hours before the beginning of a potential storm.
Winter Storm Warning
Finally, a Winter Storm Warning is usually issued by authorities about 12 to 24 hours before the storm actually begins. These alert people to serious dangers from heavy snow, low visibility on the roads, icy roads, heavy freezing rain and more. A Winter Storm Warning should be taken very seriously. Finding shelter and staying off the roads should be a primary concern.
When in Doubt: Stay Home
Holidays are a wonderful time to reconnect with family and friends, but it is not worth your life. During a winter storm warning, the safest bet is to simply stay home. Instead of traveling, keep away from possible flooding dangers, bundle up, and relax.
Before the weather event begins, be sure to gather any supplies you may need. All flashlights and radios should have fresh batteries. As soon as possible, charge any devices you might need in case of emergency. Additionally, set up some blankets and warm clothes. Think ahead by also keeping some bottled water nearby. If you or a family member needs medication, keep these close at hand as well.
Emergency in the Vehicle
If you find yourself caught in your car during a storm, stay in the car. It is quite dangerous to wander out in a snow storm. During heavy snow, it is much more difficult for other drivers to see you. Additionally, it is easy to become lost if you leave the shelter of your vehicle. The best bet is limit the time you spend outside, exposed to the elements.
Inclement weather and holiday travel can be deceptively dangerous. During this season and beyond, try to avoid unnecessary risks.
Happy holidays from Life Saver Pool Fence. Stay safe out there, everyone!