It's finally starting to feel like winter, and as more snow comes our way, it's important to take the necessary precautions.
Red Cross Support Specialist Susan Hoskinson said she advises everyone to stay up-to-date with the weather forecast and follow any emergency protocol issued by officials. She said space heaters are a big concern, because people are starting to bring them out of storage.
"You want to make sure if you have to use a space heater that it's plugged directly into the wall," said Hoskinson. "Don't use any extension cords whatsoever, and make sure you never put it anywhere near papers or anything that could possibly get too hot and catch on fire."
Hoskinson said shoveling snow can also be dangerous. Shovelers should wear several layers of warm clothing to avoid frostbite, and stretching beforehand can prevent a back injury. She said families should keep emergency kits and canned food on-hand in case of an unexpected disaster. The primary focus for the Red Cross during the winter months is disaster services, especially house fires.
"With the weather changing, we had six fires over the weekend that we were all called to, and we cover a pretty large area, so if somebody has a house fire, we go to them and assist them with whatever their needs may be," said Hoskinson.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the Muskingum Valley Chapter of the Red Cross at (740) 452-2731.