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3 Extreme Dangers of Winter Weather

A wintery day with snow on the ground is a truly beautiful sight to behold.  Despite this, it’s important to remember that the breathtaking beauty hides very real dangers. Each year as temperatures drop, Americans risk injury and death due to exposure to cold, car accidents, and CO poisoning caused by the improper use of heaters. Even when Sping begins to approach, the threat of flooding can linger.

Be Prepared

It’s important to prepare yourself and your home in advance of adverse winter weather conditions. Weather stripping windows and doors, making sure your vehicle is winterized and having an emergency plan ready are just a few ways to prepare. There is a lot to think about when preparing for the cold season, so it’s crucial that you understand the dangers of winter weather:

1) Low Temperatures

Low temperatures put you at higher risk of hypothermia. When hypothermia sets in, your body jumps into action to protect your vital organs. Blood rushes to the core to keep your heart and lungs warm. However, that lack of circulation and blood in your extremities can causes them to freeze. In cases where the body temperature drops below 96, hypothermia sets in.  Symptoms include confusion, exhaustion and slurred speech.

2) Decreased Visibility

During snow storms and heavy snowfall, visibility might be restricted.  This can happen suddenly and without time to reach your destination, which is why it’s critical to heed weather warnings. Avoid driving, and stay close to home when the threat of winter storm warnings loom. In poor weather conditions with low visibility, it’s easy to get stuck or turned around.  This is made even more dangerous by dropping temperatures, which can form dangerous black ice on the roads

3) Carbon Monoxide Risks

During the winter months, people are at an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, invisible gas produced when fuels are not completely burned during use. Automobile exhaust is the most common source of CO, but generators, gas ranges and furnaces also produce it. When appliances and furnaces are improperly adjusted and used in poorly ventilated areas, dangerous amounts of CO can build up.  This is especially true if heavy snowfall has covered up air vents in your home.  Invest in a CO detector, and be sure to use gas-powered devices only as directed.

Snowmelt

As the weather begins to warm, you might think that the worst is over. However, the last risk of winter weather is snowmelt flooding. If there is packed snow and ice on the ground, warmer temperatures may translate to a lot of runoff, which can increase the risk of flooding. Areas near creeks, lakes, or mountain bases are in more danger than other areas. In the event of snowmelt flooding, the use of an Aqua-Barrier Cofferdam will be needed to dewater and make necessary repairs.

Protect Yourself From the Dangers of Winter Weather

Between the snowfall, temperature hazards and possibility of snowmelt flooding, winter packs a lot of dangers. It’s important to plan ahead, stay calm, and stick to your emergency plan.  Once the immediate danger has passed you can start assessing damages for repair.

To learn more about options for flood prevention and dewatering, Contact Us.