Tips to Prevent Winter Injuries
California weather generally does not have the potential for serious winter weather accidents, at least in the traditional sense. Little danger from snow and ice exists in the Bay Area. However, Californians are still prone to winter accidents, especially from rain and the mudslides that could affect the area following the summer and fall’s historic wildfires. In general, cooler temperatures have residents turning on their heat and taking steps to stay more comfortable, which could also lead to injuries. Observe some simple tips to prevent seasonal illness and injury, both at home and on the road.
Winterize Your Home
As the weather cools, people will be spending more time indoors. To keep yourself and your family safe during the winter months:
- Install storm windows and check weather stripping to protect from cold air and area rainfall
- Clean out gutters and inspect the roof to prevent any damage from storms
- Check the heating system by having the furnace inspected and serviced by a professional, as some can release carbon monoxide
- Inspect and clean fireplaces to prevent creosote buildup
- Install carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home, one on each level and one in your sleeping area
- In the event of a power outage, never run generators or alternate power sources inside
Be Prepared for Emergencies
Weather experts are warning of the potential for heavy rainfall, which could lead to mudslides in the wake of the area’s wildfires. In the spirit of utmost caution, residents of the Bay Area should equip and prepare for any emergency that may arise.
- Stock non-perishable food that does not require preparation (i.e., canned beans) and keep some clean water stored.
- Keep your wireless devices charged at all times.
- Assemble an emergency kit that includes a battery-operated flashlight, weather radio, lamp, extra batteries, and other essentials such as first aid supplies and medicine.
- Keep track of any storms or evacuation orders by following the local news, particularly during inclement weather.
Travel Safe on Wet Roads
The weather in the Bay Area is generally sunny and temperate. As a result, many residents are unaccustomed to driving in the rain, which can make roads slippery and impede visibility. Travel safely this season by observing some simple safety tips:
- Allow more time for the commute in the rain. Traveling fast can lead to hydroplaning and cause a serious accident. Rushing only increases the likelihood of sustaining an injury in a crash.
- Check your windshield wiper blades and headlights, making sure all vehicle parts are in working order.
- Drive at an appropriate speed for ambient conditions. Standing water on the roadways can prove as dangerous as snow and ice, as it causes drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
- Avoid travel during heavy storms. If rainfall in the area is heavy or meteorologists issue additional warnings, such as the potential for mudslides, stay home if possible.
If you or a loved one has recently sustained injuries in a car accident this winter, our San Jose car accident lawyers can help.
Lastly, winter weather keeps more people indoors, which makes colds, the flu, and other illnesses more common. While most people will recover from these illnesses with little more than self-care, they can be dangerous to the immunocompromised, the elderly, young children, and pregnant women. To protect yourself from winter illnesses:
- Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap.
- When possible, avoid touching public door handles by using a sleeve or paper towel.
- Avoid people with obvious signs of illness.
- If you do get sick, drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. Stay home until you recover completely.
While California does not have to deal with snow or ice, hazards still exist in the form of inclement weather, illness, and even carbon monoxide poisoning. Following some simple prevention tips can help you stay safe all season long.