LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Many areas saw their first snowfall of the season on Tuesday. With winter right around the corner, now is the time to learn about, and prepare for winter hazards.
Kyle Kriegl, Regional Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Scenic Bluffs Chapter, said one of the best ways you can prepare for winter is make sure you have the right supplies for an emergency.
"If it's an ice storm what would you do if the power goes out? How would you have heat?" said Kriegl. "Just making sure you have plenty of supplies ready for a disaster like that. Making sure that you have batteries that are working, flashlights, a weather alert radio ready to go."
With daylight dwindling and our roads still free from ice and snow, Kriegl said it's and ideal time to make sure you have everything you need.
"It's a great time check your batteries and your smoke detectors in your home, making sure they're up to date. It's also a great opportunity to make sure that your personal disaster kit is up to date and ready to go as well."
Some of the supplies in a personal disaster kits include emergency food rations, flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, weather radio, duct tape, necessary medications, and copies of important personal documents like insurance information and birth certificate. For a complete list of American Red Cross recommended disaster kit supplies visit http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/get-kit.
In the winter additional supplies are recommended in your car as well. These include hand warmers, energy bars, battery powered radio, a warm blanket, shovel, and kitty litter to use for additional traction if you end up in a ditch.
Inside the home, power outages and staying warm is also a concern. Although they may seem perfect for winter emergencies, portable generators and heaters can be dangerous when used indoors. Instead, have plenty of warm clothing and blankets available, and be prepared to leave your home if necessary.
"As far as heating goes," said Kriegl. "Just try to make your house as winterized as possible."
Weather conditions can change rapidly in the winter, so it's important to stay updated especially when traveling. But, no matter what the hazard, one thing is certain; being prepared will help you, and your family, stay safe and happy this winter.