By Shilpika Das, Staff Writer, RedCross.org
Thursday, December 06, 2007 - With millions of people hitting the road for holiday travel in the coming weeks, the American Red Cross urges families and individuals to take precautions against the deceptive dangers of wintry weather.
Winter storms can be ‘deceptive killers' since the majority of winter-related deaths are caused by events related to the heavy snowfall, high winds, and freezing rain that often accompanies them. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, almost 70 percent of winter deaths related to snow and ice take place in vehicles.
"The American Red Cross recommends that people prepare for disasters and other emergencies wherever they spend a lot of time, and for many of us that means our vehicles ," says Darlene Sparks Washington, director for preparedness at the American Red Cross. "As cold winter weather approaches, it's even more important that we all take simple steps to help keep ourselves and our loved ones safer while on the road," says Washington.
The American Red Cross offers the following tips to help people prepare for the unexpected when traveling.
Winter-proof your vehicle
Before you hit the roads
If you are stranded
For additional winter safety tips and information on building disaster supplies kits, visit www.redcross.org.
The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.