Preparation is Key to Staying Safe and Healthy in Indiana’s Winter Weather

Even though the official start of winter is still more than a week away (December 22,) recent temperatures have made it feel like we’re already hip-deep in it. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when the snow starts to fall. Winter storms and cold temperatures can be hazardous, but if you plan ahead, you can stay safe and healthy. Prepare your home and cars. Keep emergency kits stocked. Be ready for power outages. Wear appropriate clothing. Check on children, the elderly and pets.

For a forecast of Winter 2011/2012, watch this Weather Channel video of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) winter outlook for the months of December, January and February.

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No one can stop the onslaught of winter weather in Central Indiana. However, if you follow these suggestions, you will be ready for it when it comes.

Many people prefer to remain indoors in the winter, but staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to prepare for winter weather and keep your family and home safe and warm during the winter months:

  • Winterize your home
    • Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
    • Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
    • Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
  • Check your heating systems
    • Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is working and ventilated properly. Call us, (317) 639-1111, to schedule an appointment.
    • Make sure that your heating system is clean, working properly, and ventilated to the outside.
    • Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
    • Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly.
    • Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
    • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies.
      • Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas.
      • Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headaches, nausea, and disorientation.
      • Keep grills and generators out of the house and garage. Position generators at least 25 feet from the house.
  • Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages
    • Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.
    • Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including:
      • battery-operated devices, such as a flashlight, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and lamps;
      • extra batteries;
      • first-aid kit and extra medicine;
      • baby items; and
      • cat litter or sand for icy walkways.

Above all, be prepared to check on family and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.

If you do find yourself in the middle of a heating emergency this winter and need help, our service techs are available 24 hours a day, whether it’s on Christmas Day, New Years Eve, or any time in between. Just call (317) 639-1111 for prompt, reliable emergency heating system repair service in Indianapolis, Noblesville, Greenwood, and throughout Central Indiana. Visit the Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning website for more information about our service coverage area.

More Information about Winter Health & Safety Concerns from the CDC
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