'Tis the season to be freezin!

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Samuel Earick
  • National Air and Space Intelligence Center Public Affairs
The weather is changing, and snow can be expected in the Ohio area in the coming weeks. Before the weather gets worse, the National Air and Space Intelligence Agency Safety Office wants everyone to think about winter safety. Below are some helpful tips to help Ohioans get through the winter months.

According to the National Weather Service Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services, there were 57 deaths cold and winter-related deaths in 2016-2017 in the United States, so remember to be careful and take it slow, NASIC safety officials said.

TIP #1: Avoid the elements. If you do not need to leave your home, don’t do it. If it is a necessity, it is important to know what to expect so you can be prepared.

TIP #2: Shovel snow from sidewalks and driveways. Shoveling snow should be done in moderation to reduce the amount of stress put on your body and to reduce your risk of heart attack. Be sure to take breaks and don’t eat a heavy meal right before. Use a small shovel to reduce stress on the back and body. Be sure to learn the warning signs of a heart attack; always listen to your body and know when enough is enough.

TIP #3: Be aware that when you are active outside, even though it is cold, you will still sweat. This can cause your clothes to be damp which can lower your body temperature. Wear layers to keep yourself warm.

TIP #4: Always dress appropriately for the weather. Keep extra clothes in your vehicle to bundle up if needed.

TIP #5: Start your car early, though not in an enclosed area because of the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. This will give the vehicle time to warm up and melt excess snow from windows.

TIP #6: Make smart driving decisions. Check weather and traffic before you depart and leave early to give yourself time to make it to your destination. While on the road, keep a safe distance from the car ahead of you, to make sure you have proper reaction time and avoid slamming on your breaks.

“Before you start driving, ensure snow is removed from all your vehicle's windows, not just that one spot on the driver's side so you can see where you are going,” said Tech. Sgt. Michelle Humann, Occupational Safety Manager of the NASIC Safety Office. “Take an extra five minutes to ensure all windows and lights are clear from snow and ice.”

TIP #7: While walking outside at work, be mindful of ice. Some people try traversing on the iceonly to end up slipping and hurting themselves. If you see there is ice on the ground, try to avoid it.

“NASIC experiences most of our slips, trips and fall mishaps during the winter months,” Humann said. “While walking outside be aware of your surroundings, watch for slick spots and consider wearing different footwear. High heels and loafers may be well-suited for our work environment once inside the building, but they will not do you any favors with grip when you step on that ice patch. Just as you would when driving in these conditions, slow down and take your time. Remember, walk like a penguin!”