Storm Preparation and Safety Tips
is the time of year again when people should be prepared to deal with winter
and the storms that it brings. To assist you in preparing the American
Red Cross has outlined some information on winter storms and how you can
prepare you and your family.
storms can have devastating effects on your community that can last for
days, weeks or even months. Snow, high winds and ice can cause
hazardous conditions and are deceptive killers.
are winter storms?
storms can range from a moderate snow over several hours to blizzard
condition over several days.
– Raindrops that freeze into ice pellets before reaching the
Rain – Rain that hits objects that are below freezing, causing it
to freeze on surfaces, such as trees, cars and roads, forming a glaze of
Storms – Freezing rain falls and freezes immediately on impact,
causing disruptions to power supplies and extreme hazards for motorists
watches and warnings?
be able to prepare ourselves for any emergency weather conditions we must
understand the weather advisory systems. The two main advisories are:
Watch – A condition that favors the occurrence of a certain
type of hazardous weather and may be forecast 12-36 hours in advance.
Warning – Indicates that a hazardous event is occurring or
is imminent in 30 minutes to and hour
for winter storms
is important to plan ahead for winter and the storms that it brings.
There are several things that you and your family can do to prepare
a family disaster plan specifically for winter storm, additional items
should include warm winter clothing, water proof shoes, extra blankets
and clumping kitty litter or ice melting products.
the hazards of wind chill. Wind chill is a calculation on how cold
it feels when wind speed and temperature are combines. This will
determine how you should dress for outside activities.
snow removal equipment before you need it
a battery operated radio to keep you up to date on current watches and
warnings. A tone alert NOAA weather radio is recommended.
a family disaster plan and discuss with all family members how to
respond to winter storm watches and warnings.
your car. Have a mechanic check your battery, antifreeze,
windshield washer fluid, wipers, ignition system, thermostat, lights,
flashing hazard lights, exhaust system, heater, brakes, defroster and
oil level. Also make sure your tires have adequate tread.
A CPR AND FIRST AID COURSE
your property from winter storms
a storm there are several things you can do to protect your property against
your home for proper insulations. This will help conserve energy
and reduce your homes power demands for heat
storm windows or cover with plastic from the inside.
exposed pipes from freezing by wrapping pipes with insulation or
newspapers (cover newspaper with plastic to keep moisture out) and let
the faucet drip a little. If pipes freeze remove insulation or
newpaper and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and
pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they are most exposed to
and check smoke alarms
keeping safe emergency heating equipment. Make sure you understand
the precautions and hazards for using and storing these additional
heating sources. Check with your local fire department for more
information on safe alternative heating.
to do when a winter storm is forecast
are several things you can do to prepare for winter storm, including:
to your radio for additional information
your car gas tank full. This will ensure you have enough gas if
you are required to evacuate, it will also prevent the gas line from
where emergency shelters are in case of a power or heat loss
animals to shelter areas and ensure they have adequate water supplies
unnecessary travel. 70% of winter deaths related to ice and snow
occur in automobiles
you have adequate food supply for several days
to do during a winter storm or blizzard warning
a winter storm or blizzard it is important for you and your family to take
certain steps to ensure your safety, these include:
indoors and dress warmly
to radio or TV for updates
regularly and drink plenty of fluids
you must go outside, consider the following:
layered clothing including hat and gloves
you mouth to protect your lungs from bitterly cold air
for signs of hypothermia and frostbite
before you go out to shovel snow
over exertion, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing cars or walking in
carefully on snowy or icy sidewalks as slips and falls can occur
is not advised during winter storms. However if you must go out there
are several things you can do to reduce the likelihood of problems and
increase your change of survival, including:
your car before storms arrive
a charge cell phone with you when driving
an ice scraper in your car
travel with someone else
a disaster supply kit in your car. Additional item for winter
conditions include small sack of sand, tire chains or traction mats for
generating traction; brightly colored cloth to tie around antenna;
additional warm winter clothing
gas tank full
long trips carefully and leave travel plans with neighbors or family
aware of current weather conditions at all times
you unfortunately get stuck in your vehicle during a winter storm, the
following points may help you survive.
Stay with your vehicle
Hang something bright on you antenna to display a trouble sign and to
make your vehicle more visible
Occasionally run the engine to keep warm
Crack a window away from the wind to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
Leave overhead light on when engine is running so you can be seen
Do minor exercises to keep up your circulation
If there is more than one person in the car, take turns in sleeping
Huddle together for extra warmth
Use anything available to keep warm, including newspapers, maps or
Watch for signs of hypothermia or frostbites
to do after a winter storm
a storm has passed you still need to keep vigilant and take certain
listening to radio or TV for updated information and instructions
driving until conditions have improved