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How to stay warm and safe this winter

Editor's note: The following information was provided by Todd County Health and Human Services.

Winter storms and cold temperatures can be hazardous, but if you plan ahead, you can stay safe and healthy.

Many people prefer to stay indoors during the winter months, but remaining indoors is no guarantee of safety. Make sure to winterize your home by installing weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows; insulating water lines that run along exterior walls; cleaning out gutters; and repairing roof leaks.

Have your heating system serviced professionally to ensure that it is working properly and ventilated to the outside. Also, have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.

To prepare for power outages and other weather-related emergencies, make sure to stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water that is stored in clean containers.

You should also get your car ready for the winter. Here are some tips for preparing your car:

• Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level

• Check tire tread. If necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires

• Keep gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines

• Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer

• Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. Include blankets, food and water, booster cables, flares, tire pump, snow shovel, ice scraper, a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction), compass and maps, flashlight, battery-powered radio and extra batteries, first-aid kit, and plastic bags (for sanitation).

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