Now is a Good Time to
Get Ready For Winter
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 severe weather.
- Know the warning terms for each kind of disaster in your community;
- "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 fruit trees
- 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.