The southeastern United States is recovering from a major winter storm that left more than 15 inches of snow in some areas. While the Las Vegas metropolitan area is unlikely to experience that much snowfall, areas near Las Vegas (such as Mount Charleston or southern Utah) are susceptible to winter storms.
That’s why it’s important to plan for cold weather events.
If you are under a winter storm warning,
Find shelter, stay indoors, stay off the roads and listen for emergency information and alerts.
If you live in an area that experiences frequent winter storms,
Prepare your home now. Insulate your outdoor pipes. Cover your outdoor plants with blankets during overnight hours when freeze warnings are in effect. You can also protect your home with insulation, caulking or weather stripping.
Prepare emergency supply kits for your home and your vehicle.
Kits should include extra batteries, flashlights, non-perishable food, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water, medication and supplies for your pet(s).
Know the differences between frostbite and hypothermia.
Frostbite occurs (typically in the body’s extremities) when blood vessels constrict to conserve body heat. Signs include: numbness and skin that is discolored (white, red, purple or black). Frostbitten areas should be warmed slowly in warm (not hot) water. Do not massage or use a heating pad. Wrap affected areas in dry, sterile dressing.
Hypothermia is more severe and occurs when the body temperature dips below 95 degrees. Hypothermia victims will seem lethargic, confused and/or apathetic. They may be shivering, exhausted and may be slurring their speech. Move the victim to a warm room and/or wrap the victim in a blanket or sleeping bag; cover from head to toe. Provide warm, sweet drinks and food to a conscious victim. If the victim is conscious, place him or her in a warm bath. Don’t allow him or her to walk around. Place an unconscious victim in the recovery position.
Extreme cold can be deadly. Taking a few precautions can protect you from the elements.