Emergency Preparedness Subsite
Winter Storm Warning
Winter Snowstorm February 23, 2013
*Residents are asked to keep snow clear of fire hydrants and high efficiency direct vent piping if your home has these units. Also, check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are operating properly.
*If your cell phone dies and you have an emergency you can always pull a City Fire Box -they will work even when the power goes out.
Before a Winter Storm threatens
- Know the terms used by weather forecasters:
- 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.
- Everyone should have supplies which would prepared them to survive on their own for at least three days. There should be some non-perishable food, bottled water, flashlights and extra batteries around the house, along with a portable radio or NOAA Weather Radio in case of power outages or other emergencies caused by a winter storm.
- Additional items that should be included on your Winter Weather Supply List are a freshly-stocked first-aid kit, essential prescription medicines, non-perishable foods (those that require no refrigeration such as canned goods, dried fruits and nuts), a non-electric can opener, water (one gallon per person, per day), baby-care items, extra blankets, sleeping bags and a fire extinguisher.
- Have sufficient heating fuel, as regular sources may be cut off. Have emergency heating equipment and fuel (a gas fireplace, wood burning stove or fireplace) so you can keep at least one room livable. Be sure the room is well ventilated.
- Make sure your home is properly insulated. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows to keep cold air out.
- Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside to provide insulation.
- To keep pipes from freezing, wrap them in insulation or layers of newspapers, covering the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture.
- Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing.
- Know how to shut off water valves.
- If pipes freeze, remove insulation, completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they are most exposed to the cold. A hand-held hair dryer, used with caution, also works well.
- Suggested items for a Winter Emergency Car Kit include a flashlight with extra batteries, a basic first-aid kit, necessary medications, a pocket knife, booster cables, a blanket or a sleeping bag, extra clothes (including rain gear, mittens and socks), non-perishable foods, a non-electric can opener, sand for generating vehicle traction, tire chains or traction mats, a basic tool kit (pliers, wrench, screwdriver), a tow rope, a container of water and a brightly colored cloth to serve as a flag, if necessary.
- Ensure that your tires have adequate tread and keep your gas tank at least half-full. Plan long trips carefully, listening to the latest weather reports and road conditions.
- Travel during the day, and if possible, try to take someone along with you.
Winter Emergency Supply Kit
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Portable radio or NOAA Weather Radio with extra batteries
- First-aid kit
- Essential prescription medicines
- Non-perishable Food
- Non-electric can opener
- Water (one gallon per person/per day)
- Baby items
- Extra blankets and sleeping bags
- Fire extinguisher
Family Emergency Communications Plan
Develop a 'Family Emergency Communication Plan' in case family members are separated from one another during a winter storm (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), and have a plan for getting back together. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the 'family contact'. After a disaster, it is often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address and telephone number of the contact person.
After the Winter Storm
- Roads to allow plowing operations to proceed smoothly.
- Help dig out fire hydrants and storm drains in your neighborhood.
- Avoid parking too close to corners, allowing Public Safety vehicles and plows to maneuver safely.
- Be aware of children playing in the streets, particularly climbing on or running out from behind large snowdrifts. Parents should remind their children to be aware of plowing operations and traffic.
- Clear exhaust vents from Direct Vent Gas Furnace Systems to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Never run automobile until exhaust pipe has been cleared of snow.
- Make sure backup generators are well ventilated.
- Take your time shoveling. Avoid overexertion.
- Use care around downed power lines. Assume a down wire is a live wire.