It is bitterly cold outside in Erie, and we probably have not seen the last of winter weather this year. When it is icy and cold outside, it is best to stay indoors where it is warm. However, we cannot always stay at home, even though winter weather makes going outside difficult and dangerous. Below are several tips to help you stay safe and healthy until warmer weather finally arrives in Erie.
Tips to Stay Safe and Healthy When You Go Outdoors
Bitter winds and cold temperatures can cause frostbite quickly. Slips and falls on icy and slick surfaces can cause broken bones, head injuries, and back injuries. To stay safe when you go outside remember to:
- Leave early to give yourself plenty of time so you are not rushed when getting to and from your vehicle.
- Dress in warm clothing and layers. Boots, gloves, hats, and scarfs can help protect against the cold weather.
- Wipe your feet several times when entering a building or home to remove ice, snow, and water.
- Try to keep your hands out of your pockets to improve balance.
- Avoid carrying packages or other items to improve balance.
- Use handrails and walk slowly to avoid falls.
- Avoid distractions such as cell phones when walking outside.
Tips to Stay Safe and Healthy When You Are Driving During the Winter
Preparing your car before driving during cold winter months can avoid accidents and breakdowns. Even though you may have had your car serviced and checked before winter arrived, it is a good idea to have your car serviced and checked again during the winter months, especially during periods of bitterly cold weather.
Keep an emergency kit in your car. Emergency kits should include:
- Warm blanket
- Change of clothing and shoes
- Bags of salt or ice
- Ice scraper
- First aid kit
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Portable cell phone charger
- Small tool kit
- Non-perishable food and water
- Jumper cables
Before leaving home, check the road conditions to determine if your route is safe. Drive slowly and leave additional distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Review winter driving tips from PennDOT to stay safe when driving during winter months.
Tips to Stay Safe and Healthy When You Are At Home
Erie residents know they need to prepare their homes for winter. Many homeowners and business owners install additional insulation and weather stripping, clean gutters, insulate water lines, and schedule maintenance for heating systems and fireplaces before fall arrives.
Some other tips that can keep you safe at home during the winter include:
- Keep extra shovels and salt on hand, so you don’t need to run to the store for these items each time winter weather is in the forecast.
- Have a backup heating system in case the power goes out. If you use portable heaters, make sure that you follow all manufacturer’s instructions and take safety precautions to avoid fires and other injuries. Injuries and deaths from portable heaters are common during winter months.
- Check to make sure carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors are working. You may want to install additional detectors depending on the size of your home.
- Check your emergency kit and replace any items that are out of date. Keep plenty of non-perishable food and water on hand. Also, don’t forget animal food and baby food & formula.
Help for Individuals Injured in an Accident
If you are injured in a winter driving accident, slip and fall accident, or other personal injury accident, our Erie personal injury attorneys can help you file a claim seeking compensation from the party responsible for your injury.
To schedule a free legal consultation with our Erie County personal injury lawyer, contact The Travis Law Firm by calling (800) 401-2066.