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Snow place like home: Ohio officials provide safety tips as winter weather approaches

Posted at 11:42 AM, Nov 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-11 11:42:25-05

CLEVELAND — Brace yourselves — "Winter is coming" memes are coming because, well, winter is coming. And with winter weather on the way, Ohio officials are providing tips for residents to prepare for the dreaded Ohio winter to minimize the risks that come along with it.

Nov. 14 - 20 marks Winter Safety Awareness Month in Ohio, and in a coordinated effort with the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness, Gov. Mike DeWine at Lt. Gov. Jon Husted worked together to create a list of tips to keep Ohioans safe—especially with the projection of a colder-than-usual winter with higher precipitation than average.

“Winter Safety Awareness Week is the ideal time for Ohioans to prepare for winter and cold weather-related incidents,” Ohio Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Sima Merick said in a press release. “Take time to restock your emergency supply kits, ensure your home and vehicles are prepped and maintained and review your emergency plans. Also, it’s not too late to get vaccinations to protect yourself and family from influenza and the coronavirus.”

State officials remind Ohioans to practice fire safety and prevention. With the holiday season comes more cooking, decorating and possibly more guests inside of residences, which can increase the risk of house fires. Ohioans are reminded to have working smoke detectors with working batteries and to have a plan in place in case of a fire. Auxiliary heaters, furnaces and fireplaces should be checked or serviced before use.

Cooking-related fires are the most common cause of house fires, and Ohioans are reminded to never leave cooking food unattended and to keep towels, potholders and paper products away from heated fires.

Winter preparation yard and housework is also encouraged for all Ohioans. Low-hanging and dead tree branches can break under the pressure of strong winds, ice and snow, and are recommended to be cut and removed before winter weather hits, to prevent damage. Officials recommend Ohioans clean their gutters before winter weather hits as well to prevent snow and ice from building up and clogging.

Emergency supplies are essential. It's Ohio, so one day it might be sunny and 75 degrees and the next day, a blizzard hits and Ohioans are stranded in their home. To prepare for Ohio's uncertain weather, officials recommend Ohioans check the dates on their non-perishable items, beverages and medication to make sure they can last the winter months. It doesn't hurt to have an emergency kit with items such as flashlights, batteries, blankets coats, hats, gloves, a first aid kit, a phone and a radio.

Officials recommend having enough non-perishable food items and water in the home to sustain every household member and pet for several days.

To learn more about Winter Safety Awareness Week, click here.

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