Winter brings cold temperatures, snow, freezing rain, and high winds. When rain freezes, ice weighs down trees and power lines, this can lead to power outages (see below for multi-language fact sheets).
During a winter storm
Washington Department of Health tips:
Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Wear mittens rather than gloves. Wear a warm, woolen cap.
Do not drive unnecessarily.
Reduce the temperature in your home to conserve fuel.
Heat only the areas of your home you are using. Close doors and curtains or cover windows and doors with blankets.
Use alternative heat methods safely. Never use a gas or charcoal grill, hibachi or portable propane heater to cook indoors or heat your home.
Never use a generator indoors or in a garage or carport.
Be careful when shoveling snow. Do not overexert yourself.
Be sure to eat regularly. Food provides calories that maintain body heat.
Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia — slurred speech, disorientation, uncontrollable shivering, stumbling, drowsiness and body temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit or less.
If you become trapped outside, get out of the wind and stay dry. Build a lean-to or snow cave if nothing else is available. Do not eat snow; it will make you too cold.
If in your vehicle
Make sure someone knows where you are going. Stay on the main roads.
If you must stop, remain inside the vehicle. Use a bright distress flag or your hazard lights to draw attention to your vehicle.
If trapped in a blizzard, clear your tail pipe and run your engine and heater for 10 minutes every hour. Open your window slightly.
During night hours, keep the dome light on in the car so rescue crews can see your vehicle.
Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food that can be eaten without being cooked. Include a blanket or sleeping bag for each passenger, a flashlight, cell phone, shovel, sack of sand or kitty litter, booster cables, flare, coffee can with lid, and toilet paper.
In the Fall and Winter months there is often a rise in respiratory viruses. This Fall (2022) there have been many RSV and flu cases requiring emergency room visits – especially for young children. Health clinics might also see more COVID cases and hospitalizations in the winter as people gather indoors and new COVID variants spread. These diseases can make young children, older adults, and other vulnerable people very sick, and overload hospitals and clinics.
RSV is a common respiratory virus that spreads every winter. Anyone can get RSV, but in 2022 we’re seeing a lot of cases in young children. For healthy adults and older children RSV can feel like a cold, with symptoms like runny nose, less appetite, coughing, and fever. But it can be a very serious illness for babies, older adults, and others.
The Seattle and King County Department of Public Health has put together an informative slide deck in eighteen languages. The deck Includes information about RSV, flu and COVID in King County, what to look for and how to prevent illness.
These instructional videos were created to help explain the viral swab procedure to patients presenting with coronavirus symptoms at Harborview Medical Center. The videos were created with interpreters and hospital staff who walk the patients through the nose-swab testing, and offer post-visit information. The videos are available in 7 languages: English interpreted into Amharic, Arabic, Cantonese, Oromo, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Each video has an accompanying easy-to-scan QR code. If the patient wants to review the video once they are back home, they can scan the QR code which will automatically take them to the video on YouTube. QR code pdfs are available for download under each video, and are also found in the sidebar.
This handout created by Harborview Medical Center addresses the use of traditional medicines, encouraging patients to discuss them with their doctor and pharmacist. It goes on to explain reasons why this is important.
The handout translated into a number of languages and each PDF includes both target language and English. Languages include: Arabic, Khmer (Cambodian), Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese. Audio narration is also available in each language.
PDFs and audio files are accessible in the sidebar.
These materials were developed at Harborview Medical Center (Seattle, WA) for use in a multicultural diabetes class for patients and family members. The materials were translated into a number of languages and each PDF includes both target language and English. Languages include: Arabic, Khmer (Cambodian), Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese. Audio narration is also available in each language.
PDFs and audio files are accessible in sidebar.
Updates to materials were funded by .
Disclaimer: EthnoMed is designed for educational purposes only and is not rendering medical advice or professional services. Any medical decisions should be made in consultation with your doctors. Harborview Medical Center and UW Medicine will not be liable for any complication, injuries or other medical accidents arising from or in connection with the use of or reliance upon information on this website.