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Red Cross tips for storm preparation

Wednesday - 2/12/2014, 3:31pm  ET

WASHINGTON -- The American Red Cross in the National Capital Region have a few tips for staying safe while out on the road, if driving is unavoidable. In an emergency, check the Red Cross First Aid App, available on the App Store or Google Play.

  • Fill your gas tank and make sure you have a window scraper

  • Pack a disaster supply kit

  • Clean your car's lights and windows to help you see and be seen

  • Tell someone where you're going before you leave

  • Don't use your cell phone while driving

  • Give cars in front of you enough space -- stops are much more difficult with snow on the road

  • Don't use cruise control

  • Don't pass snowplows

  • If you get stuck, move your vehicle off the road and stay with it

  • If necessary, get out of the car on the side away from traffic

Even if you stay at home, the Red Cross recommends being vigilant about the cold weather.

  • Wear layers, especially gloves and a hat

  • Watch for symptoms of hypothermia (confusion, dizziness, exhaustion, severe shivering) and frostbite (numbness, skin discoloration or waxiness and numbness)

  • Consider your physical condition before shoveling snow, because cold weather strains your heart

  • Check on neighbors, especially the elderly, children and people with disabilities

  • Bring outdoor pets inside or provide extra shelter and unfrozen water

  • Keep the thermostat at a constant temperature to avoid frozen pipes

  • Run water at a trickle, open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to circulate warmer air and keep garage doors closed if your water lines are in the garage

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