From seasonal weather hazards to natural disasters, The Doctors have essential weather safety tips to keep you and your family safe.
Cold Weather and Asthma
Cold air can cause cold-induced asthma and cold-induced airway reactivity. E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork explains how the airway, lungs and bronchial tubes can become inflamed as a response to cold air, making breathing more difficult.
"A lot of times, the people who have this in cold weather will start coughing, and they have to stop whatever activity they're engaged in," Dr. Travis says.
One of the best ways to combat cold-induced airway reactivity is with warm air. When outside, try wearing a Balaclava face mask, which protects the face and warms the air you breathe.
Learn the benefits of playing outdoors, and when it's time to bring your kids inside.
Keep your baby warm, healthy and safe during the cold weather.
More on child safety.
Winter Survival Guide
To help you stay healthy this winter, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's winter survival guide!
• Prepare Your Home • Prepare Your Car
• Winter Weather Checklist
Sun SafetySun exposure causes 65 percent of melanoma skin cancer and 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers! Learn how to get a perfect tan without being exposed to harmful rays, and keep your skin safe with alternatives to sunscreen.
More on safe skin care.
A bolt of lightning contains approximately 300 kilovolts of electricity, compared to a typical industrial electrical shock of 20 to 63 kilovolts. For reasons unknown, men are bit by lightning four times more than women. See what happens to the body when struck by lightning.
Ten States Where Lighting Occurs Most:
Earthquakes Earthquakes don’t just occur in California. Four major fault lines run across the United States, putting many states at risk. Whether it’s a 3.0 or an 8.1, find out everything you need to know to prepare for a trembler .
Dr. Lucy Jones, seismologist and chief scientist of the United States Geological Survey Multi-Hazards Project, says that when it comes to earthquakes, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.
“The biggest earthquakes happen on the longest faults,” Dr. Jones says. “The San Andreas is a really long fault, and it averages 150 years between earthquakes, and here in southern California, it’s been 300 years since the last [big] one. At some point, our luck is going to run out. Every Californian needs to be ready for that earthquake.”
Dr. Jones’ Top Earthquake Preparedness Tips:
1. Don’t run
2. Have a large supply of water
3. Have a fire extinguisher
4. Be able to take care of your own medical needs, because the medical system will be overwhelmed
Get more earthquake essentials.
Hurricanes vs. Tornadoes
Hurricanes are weather systems that begin over warm ocean water and develop into extremely large storms. They can last up to several weeks, but peter off once they move over land.
Tornadoes are formed when warm, moist air and cold, dry air collides, often over a body of water or from a thunderstorm. Tornadoes are accompanied by violent winds, tend to cover a small area and usually last less than 10 minutes.
A hurricane is a storm with sustained winds of 74 mph or more. Dave Price, weather anchor from CBS’ The Early Show and veteran of extreme storm coverage, explains how hurricanes are categorized and when to seek shelter or evacuate.
“When you hear the word hurricane, it’s dangerous,” Dave explains. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a [category] one, three or five, it can pose a threat.”
Dave Price’s Hurricane Checklist:
2. Extra gasoline
3. One gallon of water per person or more
4. Extra cash
5. Non-perishable food, canned food and can opener
Get more hurricane essentials.
Reed Timmer, meteorologist and star of Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers, discusses the complications that arise with tornadoes.
“Tornadoes are a lot less predictable at any given point than hurricanes,” Reed explains. “They can strike at night. The most dangerous ones can be rain-wrapped and you can’t see them coming.”
Get tips for surviving a tornado whether you’re inside, outside or in a car when one hits.
Learn tips on how to shovel snow safely.
Get more severe weather essentials.
72 Hours After …
The first 72 hours after a disaster can mean the difference between life and death, as it may take that long for help to arrive. Learn what essentials you should always have on hand.
Learn more about the disaster guidelines.
In the event of a flood, water can rise quickly, creating a dangerous situation almost instantaneously. If you live in a flood zone or near a water source, or want to be prepared in case of a heavy rain, follow these flood safety tips to secure your home.
• Bring outdoor furniture inside, because if floodwaters rise, furniture can block exits • Turn off gas, electricity and water • Stock up on water, food, prescriptions, etc. • Have an emergency preparedness kit • Stay tuned in to local radio or TV news
"Six inches of raging water coming through a corridor can actually knock you off your feet," says Eric Stromer of HGTV's Over Your Head. "Don't underestimate something that seems like a little, small eddy that's flowing across your property. That can take you out.
"A foot of water can actually stall a car and actually move that car," he continues. "Do not drive into flood areas. If you ever see that occurring, make sure that you stop the car, back up, get out and get to higher ground."
E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says that if you do find yourself in a car when water is flooding, make sure to lower the windows. "You want those windows open because that may be your only escape route," he says.
Eric demonstrates the ResQMe tool, which can help you escape if you are trapped in a car surrounded by flood water.
More car safety tips.
From mold cleanup to electrical safety, Eric and The Doctors explain what to do after a flood.
Electrical Dangers after a Flood • Beware of wet outlets and electrical cords • Do not use electrical appliances that may have gotten wet • Have an electrician check house wiring and appliances • Use caution with wet-dry vacuums during post-flood cleanup