The new year will bring with it the chance for an accumulation of snow and single-digit temperatures.

The frigid forecast for later this week has prompted the Berks County Area Agency on Aging to share some American Red Cross tips for staying safe in the wintry weather:

  • Dress in layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, wear mittens and a hat (preferably one that covers your ears) when going outdoors.
  • Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.
  • When coming indoors after being outside, change immediately into layers of lightweight clothing.
  • Stay indoors if at all possible. Only travel outside if absolutely necessary.  Don’t drive anywhere if at all possible.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather.
  • Ask a friend, neighbor, etc. to help clean sidewalks or shovel snow.
  • Wear layers of clothing indoors and if sedentary, cover with blankets.
  • Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Don’t heat your home by turning on the oven and propping the door open.
  • Be prepared with a good supply of the following:
  1. water – at least a 3-day supply (one gallon per person per day)
  2. food – at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare food (such as peanut butter, bread, tuna, soup)
  3. flashlight and extra batteries
  4. battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  5. first aid kit
  6. medications (suggest a 7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, syringes, cane, etc.)
  7. list of family and emergency contact information
  8. cell phone with charger.
  • Keep in contact with family, friends, neighbors.

You can call the Berks County Area Agency on Aging at 610-478-6500 for information about programs to help those who qualify with weather-related emergency assistance.