BE PREPARED: Winter storm safety tips for people and pets

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - As parts of Colorado brace for a blizzard this Wednesday, the Red Cross is offering more than a dozen ways you can stay safe and be ready.

El Paso County is under a Blizzard Warning set to start on Wednesday at about 10 in the morning. 11 News meteorologists have been warning the public, stay off the roads if you can! It isn't just the roads you have to be concerned about.

11 News viewers are always reaching out asking us to remind others in the public, bring your pets inside! If you notice your neighbor left their pup outdoors for an extended period of time, shoot them a call and remind them these are dangerous conditions!

Heating homes is the second leading cause of fires in the United States according to the Red Cross. Here are some tips from the Red Cross to keep yourself and your family safe:

-All heaters need space. Keep children, pets and things that can burn (paper, matches, bedding, furniture, clothing, carpets, and rugs) at least three feet away from heating equipment.

-If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs, carpets or near bedding or drapes. Plug power cords directly into outlets - never into an extension cord.

-Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended, and use a glass or metal fire screen to keep fire and embers in the fireplace.

-Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.

-Turn off portable space heaters every time you leave the room or go to sleep.

STAY SAFE DURING WINTER WEATHER
-Wear layers of clothing, a hat, mittens and waterproof, insulated boots.
Be careful when tackling strenuous tasks like shoveling snow in cold temperatures.

-Check on your neighbors, especially elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.

-Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.

-Watch for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.

WINTER TRAVEL SAFETY
-Make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road.

-Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.

-Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
Don’t pass snow plows.

-Ramps, bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways.