Winter Storm Safety: Protecting Yourself During Subzero Temperatures

Another round of winter storms is predicted to sweep across our area, bringing subzero temperatures and hazardous conditions, the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (PBPN) Tribal Government urges residents to prioritize safety and take necessary precautions to protect themselves and their communities. The following tips provide essential guidance on navigating the challenges posed by extreme cold weather:

  • Stay Informed: Keep a close eye on weather forecasts and updates from local authorities. Stay informed about the storm’s progression, anticipated snowfall, and wind chill factors by monitoring official channels such as weather websites, radio, and local news. For any PBPN updates check the PBPN app, Facebook or WIBW for closure notification.
    • The PBPN message sources will announce any other measures if they are implemented as the situation develops.
  • Bundle Up: Dress in layers to trap heat close to your body. Wear a waterproof outer layer to protect against snow and wind. Don’t forget hats, gloves, scarves, and insulated, waterproof boots to guard against frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Protect Your Home: Ensure your home is well-insulated. Check windows and doors for drafts, and use weather stripping or draft stoppers where needed. Keep faucets dripping to prevent pipes from freezing, and be aware of the potential for power outages. Have an emergency kit ready with essentials like blankets, flashlights, batteries, and non-perishable food.
  • Travel Safely: If travel is absolutely necessary, exercise extreme caution. Check road conditions before leaving, and inform someone of your travel plans. Equip your vehicle with winter tires, a shovel, ice scraper, blankets, and an emergency kit. Drive slowly, keeping a safe distance from other vehicles.
  • Protect Pets: Bring pets indoors during extreme cold weather. If that is not possible, ensure they have proper shelter and access to unfrozen water. Keep walks brief, as ice and salt on sidewalks can be harmful to their paws.
  • Heating Safety: If using space heaters or alternative heating sources, follow safety guidelines and keep them at a safe distance from flammable materials. Ensure your heating system is in good working order and have a professional inspection if needed.
  • Limit Outdoor Activities: Minimize time spent outdoors during severe cold spells, especially in subzero temperatures and windy conditions. If you need to go outside, take breaks and warm up frequently.
  • Emergency Communication: Have a communication plan in place with family members and neighbors in case of emergencies. Charge your phones and consider keeping a battery-powered radio on hand for updates.
  • Shoveling Snow: Take breaks while shoveling to avoid overexertion, which can be dangerous in extreme cold. Dress in layers, stay hydrated, and listen to your body. If you have health concerns, consult with a medical professional before engaging in strenuous activities.
  • Check on Vulnerable Neighbors: Look out for neighbors, especially the elderly and those with mobility challenges. Offer assistance with shoveling, grocery shopping, or any other tasks that may become difficult during a winter storm.

By following these safety tips and staying vigilant during subzero temperatures, residents can help ensure their well-being and contribute to the overall resilience of the community. Local emergency services are available to provide assistance and information as needed. If you find yourself in need of emergency assistance on PBPN Common Lands, please contact Tribal Dispatch at 785-966-3024.