Blizzard Disaster Preparedness
BEFORE A BLIZZARD
As beautiful as new fallen snow can be, it can also be disruptive, destructive, and deadly. Heavy snow on roadways can make for dangerous driving. Snow on power lines can also cause power outages that can last for days. Being prepared for heavy snowfall and having extra emergency supplies on hand is the best way to make sure your family stays safe both during and after the storm.
Family Communication Plan:
- Your family may not be together, plan how you will contact one another.
- Create a contact card for all family members and keep them in a wallet, purse, backpack, briefcase, etc.
- Check emergency plans with your children’s day care or school.
- Identify a non-local friend or relative household members can notify when they are safe, they may be in a better position to communicate between separated families.
- If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know.
- Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
HERE ARE SOME LINKS TO HELP YOU PREPARE AND STAY SAFE:
- Winter Storm Preparedness:
WE CARE ABOUT YOUR SAFETY! PLEASE LET US KNOW IF WE CAN DO ANYTHING, WE ARE HERE FOR YOU. PLEASE TAKE CARE, HEED THE WARNINGS AND STAY SAFE!!
How to Prepare for a Winter Storm
• Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
• Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
• Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
• If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
Remaining Safe During a Winter Storm
• Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information on snow storms and blizzards from the National Weather Service (NWS).
• Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure that their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles.
• All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
• Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
• Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
• Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power or heat during periods of extreme cold.
• Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
• Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task.
• Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.
• Help people who require special assistance such as elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
Caution: Carbon Monoxide Kills
• Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
• The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.
• Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.