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Tips To Cope With Chicago's Snowstorm

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The blizzard that will be blasting into the city and suburbs on Tuesday could rank among the worst in Chicago history, if current predictions hold up.

If so, don't take the "this is Chicago, we get snow" hard-ass attitude. Be smart and take some common-sense steps to stay safe:

Stay home: If you don't have to drive, walk, skip or otherwise venture outside--don't. Most everything can wait a day. If you have to drive, be sure to have a full tank of gasoline, blankets, flares, flashlights and extra clothing. Also, be sure your cell phone is fully charged.

If you get stuck: Stay in your car, where rescuers can find you. Do not walk from your car unless there is a building with shelter very close by. Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes every hour

Stock up on essentials: Be sure you have a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food as well as a first aid kit. A battery operated radio to keep track of developments in the event of a power outage will be very helpful.

Clothing: When you go out to shovel the snow, wear loose fitting layers. Mittens will hold in body heat better than gloves. And always wear a hat to keep your body's heat from escaping out of your noggin.

Eye on the elderly: : If you have elderly relatives or neighbors, please check in on them--after bundling up in layers and wearing a hat and mittens, of course.

Backup plan: If you lose power or heat for a long period, be sure you know where you can go to find shelter, if needed. Also, have extra blankets and coats available.

Shoveling tips: If you shovel the snow yourself, try to do it in shifts--every few hours and, if possible, switching with other people. Focus on proper technique: Use you leg muscles as much as possible by squatting down and keeping your back stable and straight. Don't twist when you throw the snow. And keep one hand lower to the shovel to maintain leverage. Push the snow, rather than lift it, when possible. Also, stay hydrated. Don't drink alcohol to "stay warm." Drink water.

Pets: Pretty simple: Keep them inside.


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