Vermont Department of Public Safety urges caution in the snow


The arrival of heavy snow is a welcome sight for many who have been longing to enjoy winter pursuits. However, the snow and accompanying gusty winds could create some hazards. Public safety officials are urging Vermonters to check in on elderly neighbors and take precautions in the storm. Dress for the weather, drive appropriately for conditions, and ensure the safety of your family in the home.

Deep snow and snowdrifts can block low-lying heating vents, preventing them from working properly. A blocked vent can cause carbon monoxide to build up in the home. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause flu-like illness or death. Symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu and include nausea, headache, and dizziness. If you feel these symptoms, leave the home and call for help. Always have working CO and smoke detectors in your home and in all living areas.

Should you lose power and use a generator, run it OUTDOORS and away from windows and vents.  Exhaust from a generator can also lead to a buildup of CO in the home.

Residents should use caution when digging out from the storm. Excessive snow-shoveling can cause a range of health problems, from back injuries to heart attack, if not done in moderation.  Vermonters should not over-exert themselves and should take frequent breaks from shoveling.

For weather, road, or emergency updates sent directly to your e-mail or cell phone, sign up for Vermont Alert at http://www.vtalert.gov. For forecast information, see www.weather.gov/btv or www.weather.gov/aly.

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