Red Cross issues cold-weather tips for people, pets

October 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

The Red Cross reminds Montanans that a little preparation can go a long way to keep safe in winter. 

“Most Montanans know how hazardous winter weather can be,” said Rod Kopp, CEO of Montana Red Cross. “Taking a few precautionary measures now, before winter is upon us, just makes sense.”

Here are a few tips to help keep you safe:

Assemble an emergency preparedness kit

Pack a warm coat, hat, mittens or gloves, and water-resistant boots, along with extra blankets and extra warm clothing.

Make sure you also have a first aid and essential medications, canned food and can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, in the event of a power outage. Take this kit with you when you travel in winter.

Prepare your home and car

Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full, which will help to keep the fuel line from freezing. Make sure your home is properly insulated by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside, to help keep cold air out. Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year. Running water, even at a trickle, helps to prevent pipes from freezing. Finally, sand or non-clumping kitty litter can help make walkways or steps less slippery.

Don’t forget your pets

Winter weather can be difficult for pets, especially outdoor dogs and cats.

— Bring your pets inside during cold winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water.

— If pets cannot come indoors, make sure they are protected by a dry, draft-free enclosure large enough to allow them to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold in the pet’s body heat. Raise the floor a few inches from the ground and cover it with cedar shavings or straw. Turn the enclosure away from the wind and cover the doorway with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

— Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate your pet’s paws and mouth. Wipe your pet’s paws with a damp towel when they come inside.

— Antifreeze is deadly. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach.

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