cold weather
JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS

The Hampton Roads, Virginia community is no stranger to inclement weather throughout the winter month. Rain, sleet, now and ice can be hazardous, especially for those unprepared to face them.

By following some tips from the 633rd Air Base Wing Safety Office, service members and their families can decrease their risk of falling victim to any cold weather mishaps.

“The biggest threat to personnel is underestimating winter weather, because cold temperatures can severely impact you very quickly,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Collin White, 633rd ABW SO occupational safety technician. “Organizations can experience higher mishap rates primarily due to different weather attributes.”

These tips can help protect service members and their families:

Cold-related illness

• Prolonged exposure to low temperatures, wind and moisture can result in cold-related illness such as frostbite and hypothermia. Personnel can avoid frostbite and hypothermia by limiting exposure to cold temperatures by wearing layered clothing and staying dry.

Slips and falls on ice

• Colder temperatures can cause slippery surfaces. Be sure to clear walkways of snow and ice, and use a de-icer after winter storms.

• Wear proper footwear such as slip resistant insulated boots, and avoid potentially icy areas such as outdoor stairs.

Work with facility mangers to contact the 633rd Civil Engineer Squadron self-help office to attain supplies needed to keep walkways clear. The CES self-help store is located in building 329, room 149 and can be reached at (757) 764-1137.

Fire safety

• A portable heater can warm any room but left unattended can set ablaze an entire home. Always turn space heaters off when leaving the room and ensure it has tip-over protection, which turns the device off if it’s not upright.

• Plug heaters directly into an outlet, do not daisy chain.

• Keep heaters clean and have them inspected annually to safeguard from any electrical disasters.

Three P’s for winter driving safety

Prepare:

• Make sure vehicles are up-to-date with maintenance. Check the battery, tire tread and put antifreeze fluid in the washer reservoir.

• Have a winter weather emergency kit in all vehicles. Include items such as blankets, flashlights, reflective traffic triangles, road flares, jumper cables and an ice scraper. For longer trips, add food, water, medication and an emergency cell phone.

• Keep a list of phone numbers for roadside assistance or emergency services readily available to speed up the process after a possible vehicle accident.

Protect:

• Buckle up and obey traffic and safety laws.

• During inclement weather, personnel should drive slower and increase the distance between their vehicle and other automobiles to avoid accidents on potentially slippery roads.

Prevent Crashes:

• Don’t drink and drive.

• Don’t text and drive.

• Don’t take drugs that can negatively impact responsiveness.

• Get plenty of rest to avoid fatigue.

For more information or tips on how to prepare offices or homes for winter safety, contact the 633 ABW Safety office. Members at JBLE-Langley can call (757) 764-5057 or JBLE-Eustis at (757) 501-8217.

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