Bundle up, wear your boots, and don’t forget your mittens.
That’s probably because it’s what your mother or grandmother nagged you about years ago. But in the wake of the first winter storm of 2014, northeast Ohio facing some of the coldest temperatures in years, it’s pretty good advice.
Ashtabula County residents started Friday with temperatures in the single digits, with wind chills below zero. Forecasters said wind chills could dip as low as 20-below next week.
“It’s going to be bitterly cold next week, likely below zero,” said John Franks, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “It’s been 20 years since we’ve seen those kind of temperatures.”
So, what do you do to keep warm? How do you protect yourself, family from a severe winter storm or prolonged sub-zero temperatures?
Here are some tips from the Ashtabula County Emergency Management Agency:
• Make a kit. Ensure you have enough supplies for every member of the family to survive on for at least three days. Include winter-specific items such as rock salt to melt ice on walkways, sand to improve traction, snow shovels and other snow removal equipment. Keep a stock of food, extra drinking water, warm clothing, and blankets or sleeping bags.
• Prepare for possible isolation in your home. If your main source of heat is a propane tank, make sure it has fuel before the storm sets in. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood if you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove. Store extra blankets, coats, sweaters in your family preparedness kit. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand and be sure everyone knows how to use it.
• Listen to weather reports for up-to-date information.
• If you have to go outside, dress in layers. Use many thin, warm layers, including long underwear, rather than a few thick layers. It will insulate better.
Wear insulated boots, winter socks, a good quality wool coat or down jacket or parka, a hat, gloves or mittens with hand warmers, and try to keep dry. Don’t forget long underwear on your legs, too!