Health Department offers winter survival strategies

Beth Welbers
Geneseo Republic
A car makes its way along snow covered street

 The Henry and Stark County Health Department and their First Choice Healthcare Clinics in Kewanee and Colona offer area residents some important winter survival strategies.  These safety tips can help us all to get through the New Year Happy, Healthy, and Safe.

    On the road. Use your low beam headlights when driving through fog or snowstorms.  They will actually provide better visibility than high beams.  And be prepared for breakdowns with emergency flares, warm blanket, first-aid kit, white cloth to signal distress, cat litter, flashlight, snow shovel, empty gas can, and for long trips, food and water.

    At home.  Carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas and a by-product of combustion, is an invisible killer.  Possible sources include: wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, kerosene, gas or oil heaters and furnaces.  For your protection: Assure proper ventilation, have these devices inspected and consider installing carbon monoxide detectors.

    Under the sun. Sunburns aren't limited to summer.  Fact is, sunlight in winter can burn, especially when reflected off ice or snow.  So when skiing or otherwise enjoying the outdoors, wear sunglasses that protect your eyes against ultraviolet light, and spread sunscreen on exposed skin, including your lips.

   Overexposed.  Watch for frostbite or hypothermia, and seek help without delay if you suspect either.  Danger signs for frostbite: redness, tingling, stinging pain or small white patches on the skin.  For hypothermia: uncontrollable shivering, sleepiness, shallow breathing.  Remember, alcohol increases loss of body heat, so avoid its use when you plan to be outdoors for a long time.

    For more information on the Emergency Preparedness Services of the Henry and Stark County visit our website at or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us On Twitter or Instagram.