Now is a Good Time to Get Ready For
Severe winter weather hasn't hit most places
of the U.S. - yet. One look at the calendar, though, and we know it's coming.
FEMA recommends preparing now to take the sting out of wintry weather. Here are
some things you can do to get ready:
- Store drinking water, first aid kit,
canned/no-cook food, non-electric can opener, radio, flashlight and extra
batteries where you can get them easily, even in the dark.
- Keep cars and other vehicles fueled
and in good repair, with a winter emergency kit in each.
- Get a NOAA Weather Radio to monitor
- Know the warning terms for each kind
of disaster in your community; including.:
- "winter storm watch" --- Be alert, a
storm is likely
- "winter storm warning" --- Take
action, the storm is in or entering the area
- "blizzard warning" --- Snow and strong
winds combined will produce blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts,
and life-threatening wind chill--seek refuge immediately!
- "winter weather advisory" --- Winter
weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be
hazardous, especially to motorists
- "frost/freeze warning" --- Below
freezing temperatures are expected and may cause damage to plants, crops, or
- Know ahead of time what you should do
to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees.
- Winterize your house, barn, shed or
any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors,
livestock or equipment. Install storm shutters, doors and windows; clear rain
gutters; repair roof leaks; and check the structural ability of the roof to
sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow--or water, if
drains on flat roofs do not work.
Also remember that dressing in layers
is important when the temperatures drop. Experts recommend wearing several
layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of
heavy clothing. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water-repellent.
Mittens are warmer than gloves. Wear a hat. Cover your mouth with a scarf to
protect your lungs from extremely cold air. Wear sturdy, waterproof boots in
snow or flooding conditions.
And remember that if you lose your
power and are using kerosene heaters make sure you maintain ventilation to avoid
a build-up of toxic fumes. Keep heaters at least three feet from flammable
objects and refuel kerosene heaters outside.