Posted on 17 November 2016.
Take time now to prepare for winter emergencies. Post photo by J. Reed.
With winter weather rapidly approaching, the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is encouraging Michiganders to make winter emergency preparedness a priority.
“Typically, Michigan starts receiving its first snowfall at this time of year,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “If you haven’t done so already, don’t wait to take a few extra steps to ensure you and your family are ready for the winter season.”
Severe winter weather poses health and safety concerns with extremely cold temperatures, freezing pipes, potential propane shortages and power outages. Michiganders should consider the following actions to be prepared for the upcoming winter months.
To prepare your home for winter:
- Weatherproof your home by installing weather-stripping and caulking and insulating walls, doors and windows.
- Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so pipes are less likely to freeze.
- Lock in a propane rate now and have a backup heating plan, such as a generator, wood stove or fireplace.
- Have gas or oil furnaces inspected by a qualified professional and change the air filter.
- Have your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected. Contact your local fire department for a referral or look for a local inspector online.
- Install battery-operated carbon monoxide (CO) detectors near every sleeping area. CO poisoning is most prevalent when furnaces are turned on to fight cold winter temperatures, but commonly occurs after winter storms and accompanying power outages, when people tend to rely on portable generators for electricity.
- Clean gutters to prevent ice dams from forming. Roof ice dams can cause water to build-up, leading to interior damage.
- Clear storm drains along the curb to enable water to drain. If plugged, water has the potential to go into low-lying areas and flood basements.
- Have an emergency preparedness kit stored safely in your house that includes: water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, extra batteries, a battery or hand-crank powered radio, emergency lighting or flashlights, extra blankets and warm clothing.
To prepare your vehicle for winter:
- Have your radiator system serviced before winter and make sure to replace windshield wipers and wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture that will not freeze.
- Replace any worn tires and check air pressure regularly.
- Have your brakes, brake fluid, oil, car battery, heater and exhaust checked to make sure everything is running efficiently.
- Keep an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle stocked with batteries, battery powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight, windshield scraper, jumper cables, mobile phone charger, shovel, blankets, first aid kit, non-perishable food and bottled water in the event you get stranded or stuck.
For more tips, go to www.michigan.gov/miready or follow the MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS.
Posted in Featured, News
Posted on 12 December 2013.
A cold blustery day Tuesday with falling temps caused ice to rapidly freeze on the roads Tuesday afternoon, which led to multiple crashes and slide offs along northbound US131 between 10 and 12 Mile Roads. It was reported that as many as 30 vehicles were involved in a chain reaction crash that tied up that stretch of road for more than two hours. Police reported no major injuries.
Posted in News
Posted on 22 December 2011.
American Heart Association offers lifesaving tips to get through the season
As many of us hope for a white Christmas, keep in mind the snow and cold winter months can be very hard on people with potential heart problems and people with existing heart problems. Some studies even suggest that harsh winter weather may increase a person’s risk of heart attack due to overexertion. Therefore, the American Heart Association is sharing some safe winter weather tips for your heart.
This winter, while you’re outdoors in the cold weather, be aware that your heart is working harder. If you’re not accustomed to physical activity, you should avoid sudden exertion, like lifting a heavy shovel full of snow. Even walking through heavy, wet snow or snowdrifts can strain a person’s heart.
To help make snow removal safer, the American Heart Association suggests:
*Give yourself a break. Take frequent rest breaks during shoveling so you don’t overstress your heart. Pay attention to how your body feels during those breaks.
*Don’t eat a heavy meal prior or soon after shoveling. Eating a large meal can put an extra load on your heart.
*Use a small shovel or consider a snow thrower. The act of lifting heavy snow can raise blood pressure acutely during the lift. It is safer to lift smaller amounts more times, than to lug a few huge shovelfuls of snow. When possible, simply push the snow.
*Learn the heart attack warning signs and listen to your body, but remember this: Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1
*Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before or immediately after shoveling. Alcohol may increase a person’s sensation of warmth and may cause them to underestimate the extra strain their body is under in the cold.
*Consult a doctor. If you have a medical condition, don’t exercise on a regular basis or are middle aged or older, meet with your doctor prior to the first anticipated snowfall.
*Be aware of the dangers of hypothermia. Heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia. To prevent hypothermia, dress in layers of warm clothing, which traps air between layers forming a protective insulation. Wear a hat because much of your body’s heat can be lost through your head.
Besides cold temperatures and snow, we know we’ll have high winds to cope with also. Wind is especially dangerous, because it removes the layer of heated air from around your body. At 30 degrees Fahrenheit in a 30-mile wind, the cooling effect is equal to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
To keep warm, wear layers of clothing. This traps air between layers, forming a protective insulation. Also, wear a hat or head scarf. Heat can be lost through your head. And ears are especially prone to frostbite. Keep your hands and feet warm, too, as they tend to lose heat rapidly.
Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before going outdoors or when outside. Alcohol gives an initial feeling of warmth, because blood vessels in the skin expand. Heat is then drawn away from the body’s vital organs.
Heart Attack Warning Signs
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the “movie heart attack,” where no one doubts what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:
*Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
*Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
*Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
*Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff is also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too. It is best to call EMS for rapid transport to the emergency room. If you can’t access EMS, have someone drive you to the hospital right away.
For more information, visit your physician or call the American Heart Association at 800-AHA-USA1 or visit online at www.heart.org.
Posted in Health
Posted on 23 November 2011.
(ARA) – Trekking through the mall on holiday shopping excursions, shoveling out the driveway and playing in the snow with the kids—every winter, your feet log some long, chilly hours. For people with health issues like diabetes, foot health is especially important when the weather turns cold, as the disease can affect your body’s circulation even more so during the winter months. More than 26 million Americans have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. If you or a loved one have the disease, it’s important to remain vigilant against complications year-round, and especially during the winter when feet are exposed to cold and remain covered up for extended periods.
The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) offers some podiatrist-approved advice to help those with diabetes maintain good foot health throughout the winter months:
* People with diabetes may experience loss of feeling in the toes and feet, which can be particularly dangerous during the winter. When walking outside, be sure to keep your feet protected from frostbite by wearing warm socks and proper footwear.
* Never walk in the snow in sneakers, dress shoes or sandals. Choose weather appropriate footwear that both fits comfortably and keeps feet dry and warm. You can find a list of footwear that have APMA’s Seal of Acceptance by visiting APMA’s website.
* You probably wouldn’t dream of going barefoot outside in the winter, but you shouldn’t do it inside, either. Always wear shoes and socks when walking outside, and at least wear socks inside. They afford a needed layer of warmth and protection. The type of hosiery you choose is important, too. Look for products made from breathable materials that won’t constrict blood flow, such as CrocsRx footwear. Because moisturizing feet in the dry winter months is also important, foot care products such as AmLactin XL Moisturizing Lotion keep feet and skin healthy while being safe for those with diabetes.
* Wash and inspect your feet daily. Perform your self-exam at the same time every day and watch for changes in skin color, sores, swelling, blisters, peeling, cracking or other signs of problem. When you have diabetes, even a minor wound can become a problem, so don’t wait to see a podiatrist if you develop an injury that’s not healing.
* Stay active. Physical activity aids circulation, which is critical for people with diabetes. Don’t let the cold weather be your excuse for becoming or staying sedentary. Get regular exercise, and don’t be afraid to do it outdoors. Just remember to properly protect your feet from moisture and cold while you’re outside.
Keeping feet healthy and pain-free can ensure a happy and healthy winter season. If you’re unsure of how to properly care for your feet during winter, or if you experience foot pain or a wound that won’t heal, see today’s podiatrist immediately.
Posted in Featured, Health