5 Ways to Protect Yourself from the Wind this Winter

The winter months bring in all kinds of harsh weather conditions. Between rain, sleet and snow, there is a lot to prepare for ahead of the winter months. Another thing that we should all be prepared for ahead of time is harsh winds. When intense gusts of wind roll into town, conditions can quickly become dangerous. Make sure you are preparing for the wind this winter season with these five tips and tricks.

  1.  Learn About Wind Alerts

The National Weather Service issues all kinds of warnings when it comes to extreme weather. If you are living somewhere that experiences excess winds, then you may already be familiar with wind alerts. However, even if you have gotten a wind alert in the past, it can be helpful to understand what each one means for you and how to prepare when you get them.

  • High Wind Watch: There is a possibility of strong, sustained winds.
  • High Wind Warning: There are currently strong and  sustained winds.
  • Wind Advisory: Winds are occurring but at slower speeds than that of a warning.
  • Hurricane Force Wind/Gale Warnings: Mainly in coastal regions when high winds are predicted.
  • Dust Storm Warning: Issued when visibility is reduced due to blowing dust or sand from gusting or sustained winds.

If you have a smartphone, you can download a weather app that will send you notifications about local weather warnings so you stay well prepared and in the know.

  • Stay Indoors When Possible

If you are able to stay inside when strong winds hit, you should absolutely do so. Strong winds can send heavy objects flying through the air which can become dangerous hazards. Even if you don’t think you will be harmed by the wind itself, you could get hurt from flying debris. When you are inside during a windstorm, make sure all windows and doors are secured. Stay away from the windows if the wind is severe or if there are tornados in the area.

  • Seek Shelter When Not Home

If you are not home when a windstorm hits, umbrellas are not going to cut it. Leave your umbrella at home and instead try and seek shelter in the safest area that you can. If you are outdoors, this could be something like near the side of a building or under a below-ground stairwell. This will help to protect you from flying debris. If you are somehow in a space without any areas that you can use to shield you from the winds, the safest thing to do is to lay face down in a spot low on the ground with your hands over your head for protection.

  • Be Aware While Driving

If you happen to be driving during a windstorm, it is imperative that you have a procedure in place. Firstly, you will want to make sure that you are not following any cars too closely. If you are able to keep your distance from cars in other lanes, do that as well. Be especially aware of driving near large vehicles like trucks and trailers in heavy winds. If you have concerns about your ability to drive in the wind, or if you feel it is unsafe to continue driving, pull over onto the shoulder or into a parking lot as you wait out the windy conditions. Stay in your car while pulled over as this will most likely be the safest place for you to take shelter.

  • Prepare Your Home

If you know that harsh winds are imminent, there are some things you can do to prepare your home ahead of time. First and foremost, you want to make sure all of your pets are inside your house. Then you need to focus on securing any loose items such as patio furniture, trash cans, lawn décor and potted plants. Anything that cannot be moved inside should be secured to the ground. If you can park vehicles in a garage, go ahead and do so. It is also a good idea to do some yard maintenance before the windy season. Trimming your tree branches and picking up any loose debris will help to keep your home safe. You should also consider having your roof inspected for any loose shingles.

Get Ready for The Winter

You don’t have to fret about the harsh winter conditions this year if you follow a few of these tips and tricks. Preparing yourself ahead of time is key for having a smooth winter season. This way you can focus on all the fun holiday festivities that the cooler months have in store.

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