Consumer Watch: Winter weather hazards

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 24 at 6:03 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It’s hard to believe with temperatures in the 80’s right now but like it or not, winter is on its way. With November, December and February comes frigid temperatures, snow tires, and potential power outages. The best time to learn about winter weather hazards and how to prepare for them is now.

In just a matter of weeks those bone chilling temps and back bruising shoveling jobs will be routine for much of the country. Winter's return also ushers in hazards the National Weather Service is warning get prepared now.

“Just know when winter weather strikes where you will be riding that storm out in safe shelter and to make sure you have the supplies on hand,” said NOAA spokesman Chris Vaccaro.

Each year dozens of Americans die because of exposure to extreme cold, add to that car accidents, fires and other winter related fatalities according to the National Weather Service. The threats include: heavy precipitation, getting trapped at home or in cars without utilities, hypothermia and frostbite which can lead to loss of limbs, permanent internal damage or death.

“Have a NOAA weather radio to stay informed on the latest forecast,” said Vaccaro. 

Not only should you stay informed about weather conditions heading your way, you should have an emergency kit with important documents and at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water. Make to-go kits in case you have to evacuate and have a disaster plan and practice the plan with family. 

Forecasters with the National Weather Service predict a colder than usual winter across most of Florida and Hawaii, warmer than usual in the southwest and across the western states, but the rest of the country that lies east of the Mississippi and through the mid-Atlantic is a wild card.

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