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December 8, 2012

Winter safetyRed Cross offerstips

NORMAN — Oklahoma is prone to many types of weather events.

As the calendar pushes closer and closer to winter, the Central and Western Oklahoma Region of the American Red Cross urges residents to take steps now to stay safer when severe winter weather threatens, according to a news release from Ken Garcia, regional communications director.

As with any disaster, preparation can be the difference between life and death. The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families make a kit, have a plan and stay informed by:

· Assembling an Emergency Preparedness Kit: Pack a winter-specific supply kit that includes a warm coat, hat, mittens or gloves, and water-resistant boots, along with extra blankets and extra warm clothing. Sand or non-clumping kitty litter is good to have on hand to help make walkways or steps less slippery. Additionally, make sure you have a first aid kit and essential medications, canned food and can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries in your home in the event of a power outage. Have a radio and weather radio to stay up to date on weather conditions.

· Make a Plan: Meet with family to discuss how to prepare for emergencies. Each family should have a plan of how you will deal with ice, snow, and frigid cold weather. Think about it now before you really need to put the plan into action.

· Keep up with the weather if you have travel plans: If winter precipitation is forecast, you might consider delaying the trip to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation. Even small amounts of freezing drizzle, sleet or snow can cause significant travel problems.

· Preparing Your Home and Car: Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full, which will help to keep the fuel line from freezing. Make sure your home is properly insulated. Maintain heating equipment and chimneys

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