FRANKLIN — Knowledge is power, especially in New Hampshire. Residents pride themselves on their ability to deal with deep snow and unpredictable weather. Now is the time to perk up a winter-weather preparedness kit. For households who didn't have a kit last year, they should start with the basics.

Check the weather before heading out on the road. If the weather is expected to be difficult, delay or cancel plans. Stay at home and listen for emergency information and alerts. Charge a cell phone, find flashlights and check the batteries. If possible, check on neighbors. If the power goes out, remember to run a generator only outside, and at least 20 feet away from doors, vents, and windows, to prevent carbon monoxide gas from entering the house. 

An in-home kit should have enough food, water, and medications for each member of the household for 72-hours, and a small first aid kit. Food shouldn't need to be cooked, unless it can be done without power. Granola, canned tuna fish, crackers, and dried or freeze-dried fruit are good options. Plan for one gallon of water per day for each person in the family. This kit is a good spot to put another flashlight and extra batteries.

Weather exposure should be limited, and watch for signs of frostbite— numb, white, grayish or waxy-looking skin— and hypothermia— a body temperature below 95 degrees causing shivering, exhaustion, confusion, and drowsiness.  Winter is known as heart attack season to many medical providers. The combination of cold temperatures and strenuous activities like shoveling snow causes a spike in heart attacks.

On the road, dress warmly, let someone know when leaving, the destination, and time of arrival. Fill the gas tank, take a cellphone, and pack an emergency car kit.

The car kit should have things like jumper cables, a small tool kit, an ice scraper, a blanket, cat litter or sand for traction, reflectors, a spare tire and jack. It should also have flashlights with extra batteries, water, snacks, and a first aid kit. Tuck a spare pair of dry gloves, shoes, and socks inside a snow hat, and add a gas can and a small foldable shovel if there is room.

For more information, call Franklin VNA & Hospice at 603-934-3454, or visit www.FranklinVNA.org.

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