Chief Lauricella would like to offer these safety tips “To stay safe during a winter storm”:
Stay indoors if possible. If you must go outside, wear protective gear, such as hats, mittens, gloves, scarf and a warm coat.
Avoid overexertion when shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car, or walking in deep snow. Take breaks frequently.
Watch for signs of frostbite, which include loss of feeling or pale appearance of fingers, toes or face.
Watch for signs of hypothermia, which include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, drowsiness and exhaustion.
Understand the hazards of wind chill. As wind speed increases, heat is carried away from a person’s body more rapidly and could lead to severe hypothermia.
Remove clothing if it gets damp or wet. Wet clothing can make you more prone to hypothermia.
Weatherproof doors and windows to trap heat inside your home.
Check heating units. Poorly operating or damaged heating units can release carbon monoxide gas. Test carbon monoxide detectors for proper operation and battery life.
Check on family, friends and neighbors who are at risk and may need additional assistance.
Watch pets closely and keep them indoors when possible. Animals can suffer from hypothermia, frostbite and other cold weather injuries.
Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a full tank of gas and an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle. Put warm clothing, such as gloves, blankets and hats, in your kit in case you become stranded.
In addition to being prepared for the winter storm, the Akron Police reminds motorists to take extra precautions when stopping and driving in winter weather.
Remember to do all of your braking before the turn is made and take the proper line of travel through the turn to reduce the potential for a skid to occur. If your vehicle begins to skid, let off the throttle and brakes and use a quick hand-over- hand steering technique to turn the front tires in the direction you want to go.
“A vehicle’s handling capability is drastically reduced in winter weather, so take it slow on ice and snow,” Chief Lauricella said. “Be sure to leave enough distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Always keep your focus on the road and avoid distractions, including cell phone use, while driving.”