How to prepare for the upcoming winter season

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Northern Star file photo

DeKalb snowplows plow Lucinda Ave. during the heavy snowfall.

By Julio Ceja, News Reporter

DeKALB — State Agencies are reminding Illinois residents to prepare for the winter even though the start of the season isn’t for another few weeks. 

The Illinois Emergency Agency (IEMA), Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL), Office of the State Fire Marshal, Illinois Department of Transportation and the National Weather Service are pushing for residents to plan ahead for the extreme weather that comes with the season. 

“In Illinois, it’s not a question of if, but rather when will snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures occur. Being unprepared for winter weather is not only inconvenient, but it can be dangerous,” said IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau in a news release. 

Supplies that should be restocked in vehicles emergency supply kits are things such as blankets, flashlights with extra batteries, first aid kit, water, non-perishable snack food, cell phone charger and booster cables. 

Medical complications that can arise from winter weather can cause serious problems such as hypothermia, which occurs when the body’s core temperature drops. Hypothermia does not only occur during negative temperatures and can even be deadly if not treated quickly. 

“Workers in Illinois, including first responders, construction workers and public works crews brave the elements year-round,” said IDOL Director Michael Kleinik. “It’s critical these workers – and others – prepare for severe conditions.”

Another concern that residents should be remindful of are home heating dangers. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, in 2017, 399 people died of unintentional non-fire carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide comes from fumes that are released any time one burns fuel in cars, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces or furnaces. Vents for drying furnaces and fireplaces should be clear of snow during and after a snowstorm. 

More additional information about how to prepare for winter weather can be found at the Ready Illinois website.