Chief Michael L. Smith
Emergency Management Director
10 Loring Drive, Framingham, MA 01702
Phone: 508-620-4942, Fax: 508-620-4946
The leading cause of death during winter storms is transportation accidents. Preparing your vehicle for the winter season and knowing how to react if stranded or lost on the road are the keys to safe winter driving.
Have a mechanic check the following items on your car.
Install good winter tires.
Keep a windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal.
Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.
Plan long trips carefully.
If you must go out during a winter storm, use public transportation.
Carry food and water.
Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter for more information on winter driving.
Winter Car Kit
IF TRAPPED IN CAR DURING A BLIZZARD
Stay in the car.
Display a trouble sign.
Occasionally run engine to keep warm.
Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and open a downwind window slightly for ventilation.
Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
Do minor exercises to keep up circulation.
Clap hands and move arms and legs occasionally. Try not to stay in one position for too long. If more than one person is in the car, take turns sleeping.
For warmth, huddle together.
Use newspapers, maps, and even the removable car mats for added insulation.
Winter Storm Watches and Warnings
A blizzard warning means that large amounts of falling or blowing snow and sustained winds of at least 35 miles per hour are expected for several hours.
Frostbite and Hypothermia
Hypothermia is a condition brought on when the body temperature drops to less than 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Symptoms of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, slow speech, memory lapses, frequent stumbling, drowsiness, and exhaustion.
If frostbite or hypothermia is suspected, begin warming the person slowly and seek immediate medical assistance. Warm the person's trunk first. Use your own body heat to help. Arms and legs should be warmed last because stimulation of the limbs can drive cold blood toward the heart and lead to heart failure.
Put person in dry clothing and wrap their entire body in a blanket.
Never give a frostbite or hypothermia victim something with caffeine in it (like coffee or tea) or alcohol. Caffeine, a stimulant, can cause the heart to beat faster and hasten the effects the cold has on the body. Alcohol, a depressant, can slow the heart and also hasten the ill effects of cold body temperatures.
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