Winter brings cold temperatures, slippery surfaces and unpredictable weather.
Being aware of potential hazards and having a plan to deal with them are the first steps in getting through the winter safely.
Getting in and out of buildings and vehicles can be difficult during the winter. Make sure steps are kept clear and dry, and try to stay on shoveled sidewalks. Let businesses know if they don’t have a clear path to their door.
Watch for slippery surfaces; wear non-slip shoes or boots with rough treads. Take care to park so you don’t step out onto ice. Try to avoid carrying bulky packages that throw off your balance.
If steps are a problem at home, consider adding railings or even a ramp to make it safer. Consider a life alert system or carry your cell phone in case you fall and need to call for help, especially if living alone or if you are a caregiver.
Make an emergency plan for being snowed in or in case of power outages. Have candles and flashlights readily available. Be sure you have enough supplies to get by for a couple days.
Have a phone list handy of who to call if the power goes out. Make another list of the things you need to take with you if you need to leave quickly. Always dress appropriately for outdoors, even if you are going just a short ways by car.
Once you identify potential hazards, make a plan to be prepared. Just ask yourself, in case of (emergency), I need to have or do (action). Write it down so you remember when an emergency happens.
Caregivers should also consider making a plan for the relative or neighbor who comes to lend a hand if something happens to the caregiver.
Faith in Action for Cass County can help if you would like to plan for winter safety, need to install railings or a ramp or need to look at other safety concerns. Faith in Action is a volunteer program that provides transportation to medical appointments and shopping, friendly visiting, respite for caregivers, light homemaking and repair, and builds accessibility ramps.
If you have questions about receiving services, becoming a volunteer or making a donation to this local program, call Faith in Action at 218-675-5435 or go to www.faithinactioncass.com.