End of fall brings winter obstacles

  • 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 tips to help Ohioans get through the winter months.

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 prepare.

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

TIP #3: Always dress appropriately for the weather. Keep extra clothes in your vehicle to bundle up if needed.

TIP #4: Start your car early, though not in an enclosed area because of the danger of carbon monoxide poising. This will give the vehicle time to warm up and melt excess snow from windows.

TIP #5: Inspect your vehicle more often. Ensure the lights, heater, AC, and airbags are all well-maintained. Also, ensure tires are properly inflated and ready for the season.

TIP #6: Have an emergency kit in your car. The kit should consist of most of these items, a shovel, windshield scraper, hats, gloves, blankets, a first aid kit, pocket knife, and any necessary medication for you or any family member. Also keep some water and food that can be eaten hot or cold.

TIP #7: Always leave earlier so you can drive slower. In the winter conditions, you never know if you are going to hit a patch of black ice, so always be cautious and alert.

TIP #8: While walking in and out of work, you may encounter ice. Most people would think avoiding ice, is somewhat common sense. In reality, some people try traversing the ice and end up slipping and hurting themselves. If you see there is ice on the ground, try to avoid it.

"NASIC has maintained a steady mishap trend during the winter months from slips and falls due to icy conditions,” said Master Sgt. Mark Dulaney, NASIC occupational safety manager. “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 or that really slippery painted parking line. Just as you would when driving in these conditions, slow down and take your time. Remember, walking slowly in the wintery air, may help save your derrière."

According to the National Weather Service Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services, there were 84 deaths cold and winter-related deaths in 2014 the United States, so remember to be careful and take it slow.