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News | Feb. 17, 2022

Winter Safety Tips to Stay Safe and Healthy

By TRICARE Communications

Winter can be a hazardous time of year, and we still have more than a month left before it’s finished. Frigid temperatures and slick roads can be dangerous. Being prepared and knowing your TRICARE health care options will help you and your family remain safe this winter. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a number of winter safety tips to help you prepare for freezing temperatures and prevent injuries and illness. When it comes to preparing your home, car, and family during the winter months, follow these tips. 
 
Prepare with TRICARE
It’s a good idea to have a health emergency kit with all your TRICARE health essentials. If you have chronic conditions, your kit should include a full list of your prescription and over-the-counter medications with dosing instructions. Get any prescription refills that are due before you leave and consider any medicines that may need refrigeration. Don’t forget to include contact information for TRICARE, your primary care provider, and extra drugs and supplies.
 
If you need medical care after a weather-related illness or injury, TRICARE covers urgent care and emergency care. But be sure to follow the rules for your plan for getting care. If you aren’t sure of the type of care you need, the Military Health System Nurse Advice Line is available 24/7 to provide health advice.
 
Prepare your home
Winterize your home to help protect yourself and your family from any potential damage the cold temperatures and snow may bring. Follow these tips to keep your home safe and warm:
  • Check your heating systems.
  • Clean out chimneys and fireplaces.
  • Closely monitor any burning fires or candles.
  • Check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
  • Remove ice and snow from walkways to prevent slips and falls.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your home that includes flashlights, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, extra medicine, baby items, and cat litter or sand for icy walkways.
  • If you lose power, your kit should also include food and water for three days for each family member, warm clothing if you have to evacuate, and toys and games for children. Check your kit each year to make sure all clothing still fits and children’s toys are age appropriate.
 
Prepare your car
Is your car ready for winter travel? It isn’t too late to winterize your car. Check out these car care tips to prepare you for winter driving:
  • Service your radiator and maintain antifreeze level.
  • Check your tires and replace with all-weather or snow tires, if necessary.
  • Keep your gas tank full to prevent ice from getting in the tank and fuel lines.
  • Use a wintertime fluid in your windshield washer.
  • Make an emergency kit to keep in your car. Include water, snacks, first-aid kit, blankets, flashlight, extra batteries, portable cell phone charger, and emergency flares.
 
Prepare your family for outdoor winter activities
You and your family may want to venture outdoors to enjoy winter activities. When you do, take these steps to prevent serious injuries and illnesses, like hypothermia and frostbite:
  • Wear layers of light and warm clothing, a wind-resistant coat, waterproof shoes, and a hat, gloves, and scarf.
  • Work slowly when engaged in outdoor tasks, such as shoveling your driveway or removing snow from your car.
  • Take a friend and carry a charged cell phone when participating in outdoor activities.
 
For more winter weather safety tips, visit the CDC website. Also, check out the disaster preparation information on the TRICARE website, where you can sign up for disaster alerts.
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