Illinois is famous for its cold winters. Heavy snow and extreme cold can immobilize an entire region. Even areas that normally experience mild winters can be hit with a major snow storm and low temperatures. The results can range from the havoc of cars trying to maneuver on ice-covered highways to isolation due to power outages and blocked roads. Whatever the case, winter storms can cause seasonal deaths and injuries. To protect yourself and your family from the many hazards of winter weather – blizzards, heavy snows, low temperatures, freezing rain, or sleet – follow these safety tips.

  • Wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.
  • Wear mittens instead of gloves.
  • Wear water-repellant clothing.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
  • Make sure small children, infants, and the elderly stay warm. They are more vulnerable to the cold.
  • Take advantage of warming centers, public park facilities, and heated stores and malls.
  • Where possible, try and keep one room in your home heated to 68-70 degrees.
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages.
  • Eat high energy foods and drink warm beverages.
  • Beware of over-exertion; shoveling snow or pushing disabled cars can be very strenuous and should only be done by individuals in good health.

Safe heating tips

  • Electric heaters can be hazardous and should be used with caution to prevent shock, fire, and burns. Follow the usage instructions carefully and keep clothing and blankets away from heating elements.
  • Carbon monoxide can kill. Be careful using fireplaces; make sure flues are clear and properly ventilated.
  • Gas ovens, burners, and charcoal should never be used to heat your home.
  • NEVER use generators in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation.

Safe use of the car in cold weather

  • Make sure your car is in good operating condition before using it in extreme cold.
  • Keep condensation (water) out of your gas tank by keeping the tank as full as possible.
  • Maintain a storm kit in your car with items such as a cell phone and charger; blankets; extra clothing; jumper cables; a flashlight; high-calorie, non-perishable food; and matches or a lighter.
  • Plan your trip carefully. If cold, snowy, or icy conditions exceed your ability or your car's ability, don't travel.
  • Tell someone about your travel plans.
  • Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
Sunday, February 25, 2018. Village of Matteson, Matteson, Illinois. All Rights Reserved. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. This website is best viewed in 1024x768.