Press Release-Friday, May 8, 2015
Emergency preparedness for major winter storms is an important part of living in our area where conditions can change wildly from one moment to the next. With the potentially significant weather, plan to stay home this Saturday evening through Sunday. Plan to celebrate Mother’s Day at home if needed. This storm has the potential to drop 10-20+ inches of very heavy, wet snow and in many ways appears to be similar to the October Blizzard in 2013. It could impact area livestock, cause broken tree limbs, cause power outages and cause roads to be shut down.
CHECKLIST: Have enough supplies on hand for three or four days. Make a store run and stock up on things that will be useful BEFORE the storm hits.
- Flashlights: When the power is out, flashlights are invaluable. Candles work well also but be careful and don’t leave them unattended.
- Batteries: For weather radios, flashlights, lanterns, anything you might need to power up if the electricity goes off.
- Food: Stock up on items that don’t require a lot of preparation or refrigeration. Canned foods and pre-packaged meals work best. If you have an all-electric house, a grill can be used for food preparation. (outdoors only)
- Medications: Check on your supply of medications and other medical equipment needs.
- Generators: If you have a generator, get it out and fire it up. Plug in a couple of items to make sure it functions properly. When in use make sure the area is well-ventilated. Ensure generators are not “backfeeding” into the power grid.
- Fuel: All types of fuel may be needed. Top off all of your gasoline and kerosene cans and fill the car gas tank. Make sure your propane tanks are full, especially if you heat your home with it. Fill smaller propane tanks in case you need to use your grill for cooking. If you heat with a wood stove make sure you have plenty of wood cut and stored in a dry place. If you plan on using a fireplace for heat, make sure the chimney flue is clean and unobstructed.
- Charged cell phones: Make sure your cell phones are fully charged. At home, leave them on the charger until they are needed. Turn down the brightness and close non-critical apps to conserve battery life. Keep your laptop charged as well.
- Weather radio: Make sure it works and is tuned to the proper NWS frequency. It may be your only link to important information.
- Clean clothes: If you need to do a couple of loads of clothes, do it before the power goes out. Run the dishwasher and have everything clean that you might need.
- Ice chest and ice: If the power goes out it helps to have a place to put refrigerated items to keep them from spoiling. Frozen items will hold a couple days as long as you don’t open the door too often. If it snows, use the snow in the ice chest if you don’t have ice.
- Your pets: Make sure you bring the pets inside. It’s cold and snow adds more danger. If they must stay out provide a warm dry shelter, plenty of water and food. Use hay or straw for bedding. Cloth blanket and towels will get damp and freeze. Bring them into the house or garage if possible.
Monitor our Facebook and Twitter for updates. Visit www.rcpcem.com to learn about additional emergency preparedness steps you can take for you and your family. Contact our office for more information at 394-2185.