WINTER WEATHER by tyndale

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									                                                                      Monroe County Emergency Management Department
                                                                                        119 West Seventh Street, Room 10
                                                                                             Bloomington, Indiana 47404
                                                                                                     812.349.2546 Office
                                                                                                       812.349.2052 Fax
                                                                     www.co.monroe.in.us/emergencymanagement/index.htm


                                                   WINTER WEATHER

WINTER WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

A Winter Storm Warning means a winter storm is occurring or is about to occur in the area, usually within 24 hours.
Generally, a Winter Storm Warning is issued if at least 4-6 or more inches of snow or 3 or more inches of snow with a
large accumulation of ice is forecast.
An Ice Storm Warning is issued when freezing rain produces a significant and possibly damaging accumulation of ice.
The criteria for this warning vary from state to state, but typically an ice storm warning will be issued any time more than
1/4 inch (6 mm) of ice is expected to accumulate in an area (in some areas, the criterion is 1/2 inch (13 mm).
A Freezing Rain Advisory is issued when freezing rain or freezing drizzle is expected to cause significant
inconveniences, but does not meet warning criteria (Typically greater than 1/4 inch of ice accumulation).

A Winter Weather Advisory is issued when a low pressure system produces a combination of winter weather (snow,
freezing rain, or sleet) that presents a hazard, but does not meet warning criteria. A Winter Weather Advisory means a
period of winter weather will make traveling difficult.

A Winter Storm Watch is issued when there is a potential for heavy snow (6 or more inches) or significant ice
accumulations. The watch is usually issued at least 24 to 36 hours before the storm's arrival in the area.

SNOW EMERGENCY

A Snow Emergency is declared when a major winter storm severely impacts a city or county in the United States. In a
snow emergency, schools, universities, government offices and other public buildings may close. Typically, the
emergency is declared by the mayor or other high official. The declaration is usually issued before the storm hits, as
drivers may be unable to move or even reach their cars after it has begun. This is not a product issued by the National
Weather Service. The general public is alerted to snow emergency status via local broadcast stations, mass text
messaging services, and public address systems.

BE PREPARED FOR WINTER WEATHER AHEAD OF TIME

Have furnaces checked annually for efficient and safe operation before the heating season arrives, and be sure to change
your filters monthly. A winter weather service check-up for your vehicle by your auto service technician is a good idea.
Weather forecasts often provide ample warning to prepare for an impending storm, blizzard, ice-storm, or extreme cold
temperatures. When a winter-storm warning is issued, prepare for it by gathering items you may need if the power goes
out in your home. Items to include: Candles, matches; Flashlights; Battery operated radio; Cellular telephone; Extra
batteries (for the flashlight, radio, and the cellular telephone); Blankets or sleeping bags; Extra clothing; High-calorie non-
perishable food (such as granola bars); First aid kit and any medications you require; Tool kit.

During a storm, you should stay inside. If you are using heat from a fireplace, wood stove or a space heater, be sure to
use the appropriate fire safeguards and properly ventilate the device to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. If you lose
heat in your home, close off un-used rooms. Be sure to eat and drink as food provides the energy your body needs to
produce its own heat. Wear layers of loose-fitting clothing and remove layers when necessary to avoid overheating,
perspiration, and subsequent chill.

When spending time outdoors, everyone should dress warmly and stay dry. Layer clothing, preferably wind resistant, to
reduce loss of body-heat caused by the wind. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. Do not
ignore shivering as it is an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return
indoors.
                                                                      Monroe County Emergency Management Department
                                                                                        119 West Seventh Street, Room 10
                                                                                             Bloomington, Indiana 47404
                                                                                                     812.349.2546 Office
                                                                                                       812.349.2052 Fax
                                                                     www.co.monroe.in.us/emergencymanagement/index.htm

USE PRECAUTION WHEN TRAVELING

If you must travel during a winter storm, try to plan ahead. Keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel
lines. Be sure to let someone know of your travel plans, including expected time of departure and arrival, and your
planned route. Before you leave, make a winter emergency kit and place it in your car. Items to include: Blankets/
sleeping bags; Flashlight with extra batteries; First-aid kit; Utility knife; High-calorie, non-perishable food (for example:
granola bars); Extra clothing to keep dry; Sack of sand (or cat litter) for traction; Shovel; Windshield scraper and brush
and extra windshield wiper fluid; Tool kit; Tow rope; Jumper cables; Water container; Compass and road maps; Candle,
tin can, matches.

WHAT TO DO IF CAUGHT IN YOUR VEHICLE DURING A WINTER STORM

Stay in your car or truck: disorientation may occur quickly in wind-driven snow and cold; Run the motor about ten minutes
each hour for heat only after ensuring that your exhaust pipe and radiator are not blocked by snow or other debris. Open
the window a little for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning; Make yourself visible to rescuers. Turn on the dome
light at night when running the engine. Tie a bright colored cloth (preferably red) to your antenna or door. After the snow
stops falling, raise the hood to indicate trouble; Exercise from time to time by vigorously moving arms, legs, fingers and
toes to keep blood circulating and to keep warm;

HYPOTHERMIA

Hypothermia is a condition of abnormally low body temperature. Exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose
heat faster that it can be produced. Prolonged exposure to cold will eventually use up your body's stored energy. The
result is hypothermia. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, causing unclear thinking and inhibiting body
movement. This could cause a person to not know what is happening and he or she won't be able to respond normally.

Hypothermia is most likely at very cold temperatures, but can occur at temperatures above 40o F if a person becomes
chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.

Victims of hypothermia are most often (1) elderly people with inadequate food, clothing or heating: (2) babies sleeping in
cold bedrooms; and (3) people who remain outdoors for long periods - the homeless, hikers, hunters, etc.

WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA?

Adults and Children: shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness.
Infants: bright red or cold skin, very low energy.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU NOTICE ANY OF THE WARNING SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA

Take the person's temperature - if below 95oF, the situation is an emergency - get medical attention immediately. If
medical care is not available, begin warming the person, as follows: Get the victim into a warm room or shelter; If the
victim has on any wet clothing, remove it; Warm the center of the body first - chest, neck, head and groin - using an
electric blanket, if available. Or use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets;
Warm beverages can help increase the body temperature, but do not give alcoholic beverages. Do not try to give
beverages to an unconscious person; After body temperature has increased, keep the person dry and wrapped in a warm
blanket, including the head and neck; Get medical attention as soon as possible.

A person with severe hypothermia may be unconscious and may not seem to have a pulse or be breathing. In this case,
handle the victim gently, and get emergency assistance immediately. Even if the victim appears dead, cardio-pulmonary
resuscitation (CPR) should be provided. CPR should continue while the victim is being warmed, until the victim responds
or medical aid becomes available. In some cases, hypothermia victims who appear to be dead can be successfully
resuscitated.
                          For more information on Severe Weather Awareness Week visit
                             www.co.monroe.in.us/emergencymanagement/index.htm
 Monroe County Emergency Management Department
                   119 West Seventh Street, Room 10
                        Bloomington, Indiana 47404
                                812.349.2546 Office
                                  812.349.2052 Fax
www.co.monroe.in.us/emergencymanagement/index.htm

								
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