Red Cross Recommends Caution Ahead of Winter Weather

[NEW ORLEANS, JANUARY 20, 2022] —The American Red Cross of Louisiana issued safety tips ahead of forecasted freezing temperatures for much of the state, recommending that residents plan ahead and be careful.

“Whether at home or on the road, people can protect themselves and others by following practical advice developed by the Red Cross,” said Karen McCoy, Executive Director of the Red Cross North Louisiana Chapter. “Freezing temperatures create a number of hazards that Louisianians don’t deal with as often as other parts of the country.”

Download the Red Cross Emergency App to monitor severe weather, learn how to create an emergency kit and access a library of tips for before, during and after winter weather events.

WHILE OUTDOORS DURING A WINTER STORM

  • Avoid unnecessary travel. (About 70% of deaths related to ice and snow occur in automobiles.)
  • Wear layered clothing.
  • Walk carefully on icy sidewalks.
  • Never use cruise control while driving in the winter.
  • If you are stranded, tie a bright cloth to your antenna and stay in your car. Run the engine for 10 minutes every hour for heat and slightly open a downwind window for ventilation.

WHILE AT HOME:

  • Bring your pets inside. Make sure outdoor animals have shelter and nonfrozen water.
  • Never heat your home with an oven or stove.
  • Monitor local media for the latest news.
  • To protect your pipes: Open cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate and let cold water drip from the faucet at a trickle.
  • If using a space heater, keep it three feet from other objects, place it on a nonflammable surface and turn it off before going to bed.

IF YOU LOSE POWER:

  • Turn off and unplug everything to avoid power surges when power is restored.
  • Leave one light on so you know when power is restored.
  • Keep your fridge door closed as much as possible to preserve food.
  • If you use a generator, place it outdoors in dry conditions away from windows or doors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. NEVER use a generator inside.