CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Recommended winter safety tips:
- Keep alternative heating sources prepared. If you have a fireplace, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood. Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure your family knows how to use them.
- Do not use charcoal grills or generators indoors; the fumes can be deadly.
- Turn off electrical appliances that were on when the power went off to avoid a power surge when the electricity is restored.
- Use flashlights. Do not use candles; they greatly increase the chance of having a fire in your home.
- Limit your activities to no more than two rooms and close off unneeded rooms.
- Stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors and cover windows at night to keep cold air out and warm air in.
- If you have well water, fill up tubs and buckets with water so if the power goes out you still have water.
- Remember to eat and drink regularly. Food provides the body with energy to produce its own heat.
- Keep the body replenished with fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Wear layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Layering clothes keeps you warmer than a single layer of heavy clothing. Remove layers to avoid overheating, perspiration and subsequent chill.
If you must travel, the North Carolina Highway Patrol recommends following these safety tips:
- Reduce your speed. Driving at the regular speed limit will reduce your ability to control the car if you begin to slide.
- Leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles.
- Bridges and overpasses accumulate ice first. Approach them with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on the bridge.
- If you do begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel IN THE DIRECTION OF THE SLIDE. Do NOT apply the brakes as that will cause further loss of control of the car.