4 Vital Tips to Stay Safe During Winter Weather Emergencies

Baby, it’s cold outside! The season of winter can be full of snowball fights and snuggling by the fire, but with the cold weather comes a whole slew of potential problems. 

Hopefully you took the extra precautions and prepped your home and car for winter back in the fall season.  If you still find yourself in a jam, below are scenarios and tips to help you get out of some sticky situations!

Your car gets stuck in the snow . . . in the middle of nowhere – First and foremost, do not stray from your car. It’s warmer and you won’t risk getting hypothermia.  With that said, do check periodically to make sure your tailpipe isn’t blocked so you can avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.  Turn off your engine to reserve gas, only starting the car every 20 minutes or so to warm up.  Only use your cell phone to call for help.  Once someone comes to rescue you, remember to drive SLOWLY.  Also, keep a bag of sand in your car for traction if you were to become stuck again in the future.

Your pipes freeze and/or burst – There’s no need to call your plumber. Immediately shut off the main water valve and leave the faucets open. Next, open all of your cabinet doors and crawl space to allow the warmth of your house to help thaw the pipes. Do NOT use any open flames or any electrical device to warm up the pipes.  Just sit back, read the paper, and give the pipes time to thaw.  When you’re ready to test the pipes, slowly turn on the water main valve while another person walks around the house to ensure water is running from all faucets and no cracked pipes are spotted.

Your home loses power and the temperature is dropping – Now would be a good time to introduce yourself to the new neighbors that have a fireplace and invite yourself in.  You should also check on any elderly neighbors.  If you have to stay at your house, do not use kerosene heaters, BBQs or any outdoor heater inside.  This could result in carbon monoxide poisoning.  Dress in layers to stay warm instead.  If you’re still freezing, take a warm shower to help raise your body temperature.  If it’s going to be awhile before power is restored and it’s unbearably cold, drive carefully to your local shelter.

You suspect carbon monoxide poisoning – Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, nausea and weakness.  If you think you’re experiencing this, get out of the house into fresh air immediately, then seek medical attention.  If you are diagnosed with CO poisoning, you will need a qualified service person to make sure the appliances are working properly before using them again.

Be sure to keep your family, home, and vehicles safe this winter.  Our insurance can provide protection when winter weather emergencies occur! Call us today at 1-800-766-MMIC, visit us online at www.madisonmutual.com, or stop by our office to find out how we can protect you!