Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

Winter in the Coastal Bend – Are YOU Ready?

02/06/2016 | Published by: Ailene Koffer

It’s winter in the Coastal Bend. Even though we may not get snow, it is still important to know life survival tips to get you through the season.

Many people with disabilities either cannot care for themselves or need help to do so. It is important to know how to stay warm and what they need to do that.

People who have circulation problems or who cannot move by themselves are very vulnerable to frostbite. One thing you can do to help prevent this is to have outdoor activities in the warmest part of the day. Protect the feet, hands, pelvic areas, and head by layering extra clothes and covering with a blanket. If the person uses a wheelchair, a blanket should be placed around the pelvic area and time outdoors should be limited. Service animals should wear a coat or sweater and boots on their paws when it is very cold outside. 

Remember that in freezing weather, mobility aids such as walkers and canes can collect ice on the tips, making walking with them risky. Wheelchairs should use dirt bike type tires while outside in rainy, icy and snowy weather so traction is available. Use regular wheels when inside. 

Leave water taps on a slow drip, use electric space heaters with an automatic shut-off switch, and keep all heating sources at least 3 feet from furniture. Make sure smoke alarms are in working order, have a working carbon monoxide detector, and avoid using candles.

Other things you can do to prepare for winter:

  • winterize your home by insulating pipes, windows and doors
  • have winter clothing on hand before cold weather arrives
  • keep your vehicle’s gas tank full
  • prepare a disaster supply bag with first aid supplies, medications, battery operated flashlight, battery operated radio, and extra batteries
  • keep a battery operated radio close at hand and know how your community warns the public about severe weather (siren, radio, TV, door-to-door, etc.)
  • keep a supply of drinking water, canned/no-cook food (dried fruits, crackers), non-electric can opener, baby food and formula, prescription drugs and dressing supplies
  • keep physicians’ numbers handy
  • restock the first aid kit
  • keep rock salt to melt ice, cat litter or sand to add traction to sidewalks

Creating a safety plan of action for dealing with severe weather situations will ensure a better chance of safety and good health for your loved ones. Check out How to Keep Children & Adults with Special Needs Warm in the Winter for more ideas.  

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