Staying safe in winter storm Uri

Staff Report

MIAMI COUNTY — With a winter storm warning in effect until at least 1 p.m. Tuesday, residents in Miami County — and much of the state — are encouraged to stay off the roads.

The major winter storm, named Uri by the Weather Channel, hit the south this weekend, causing more than 2.5 million homes and businesses to lose power in Texas as of 8:30 a.m. Monday, according to the Weather Channel.

Uri then moved up toward the midwest, producing widespread snowfall, ice, and hazardous conditions. Overall, the total snow fall in the Miami County area is expected to reach 6-10 inches.

In the event of a power outage during a significant winter weather event, there are several steps to take in order to stay warm until power is restored. This includes closing blinds or curtains to keep in heat; closing off rooms to avoid wasting heat; stuffing towels or rags in cracks under doors; and wearing warm lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.

According to the National Weather Service, travel may be impacted well into Tuesday. Those who are unable to stay home are encouraged to keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in their vehicle in case of emergency, as well as things like a phone charger, ice scraper, jumper cables, a first aid kit, blankets, and warm clothes. The Weather Channel also recommends never driving without at least a half a tank of gas to prevent gas line freeze-up.

Temperatures in the single digits are expected throughout Tuesday, and another round of wintery precipitation is expected Wednesday night through Thursday, with a potential for accumulating snow, the National Weather Service reports.

For those venturing out on foot, it’s important to know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. According to the Weather Channel, the four degrees of frostbite are: ice crystals on skin; lasting pain and skin turns blue, grey, or black; skin feels warm before it defrosts; and skin looks waxy and pale, white, or red.

Hypothermia, a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causes a dangerously low body temperature. Signs to look for include feeling tired, slurred speech, disorientation, and uncontrollable shivering. While minor frostbite can be treated at home with basic first aid measures, hypothermia requires medical attention.

Visit www.weather.com to keep up to date on the latest weather forecasts, as well as any new warnings.