Don’t Let the Bite in the Air Nip at You

By Bob Sadowski, APR, Public Relations & Social Media Manager, ACCO Brands

The winter season is well underway, and the wrath of the cold weather seems to be making up for the generally mild winter of 2012. In fact, as I write this, much of the country is experiencing some of the coldest temperatures they’ve felt in quite some time.

With the extreme weather, the first thing that should be on your mind is safety. It’s easy to take the snow, ice and wind for granted or brush it all off as an inconvenience, but the impact of the weather on you and your family as well as your home and car is nothing to sneeze at. You must develop a plan for the worst.

To help make sure you’re safe the entire season, we’ve looked to some of the experts in winter safety for insights and tips on keeping warm in the chilly air.

  • Take care of yourself: There are many dangers to your well-being presented by the cold, and you need to be sure to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone or anything else. Three of the main culprits are hypothermia, frostbite and carbon monoxide poisoning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides detailed information on these dangers and how to make sure you don’t become their next victim.
  • Keep the kids safe: The winter weather is a great opportunity for your kids and family to get out and have some healthy outdoor fun. The trick is to stay safe. In addition to the dangers mentioned above, much care must be taken for activities ranging from shoveling snow to sledding to ice skating. The American Academy of Pediatrics provides great safety tips and guidelines, even taking into account things that otherwise may be overlooked, such as sun protection.
  • Keep your wheels rolling: The winter weather can take its toll on your vehicle, so you must take care of it so that you can get to your destination in a safe and comfortable manner. The National Safety Council (NSC) has a winter vehicle preparedness document with several checklists and tips on vehicle emergency kits, maintenance and what you should do if you become stranded. One way to keep track of maintenance is to stay on schedule with an auto record book.
  • Be prepared before, during and after. If winter weather is in the forecast, or if you’re already caught in the storm, FEMA has a wealth of resources to get you prepared beforehand or help you ride-out and recover from severe weather. The site also has additional tips for you to follow for winterizing your vehicle and home as well as protecting yourself from carbon monoxide.

In addition, we recommend you take at a look at the Extreme Cold Guide produced by the CDC. This prevention guide covers everything you need to know to promote your personal health and safety during the winter season.

Bottom line: We want you to be safe. These tips will help you do that. What tips do you have for our readers to plan for Jack Frost? Please share, and in the mean time, find a warm blanket, cuddle up near the fireplace and have a hot chocolate. Winter weather does have its perks, after all!

[photo by rosefirerising]

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