Folks, the official start to winter is right around the corner. Yes, we've been dealing with a lot of cold weather for the last couple of weeks, but who knows what's going to happen in the next couple of weeks or even months? Before I go on winter break, I want to share with you some critical information on how to stay safe during winter storms and power outages.
- Keep Informed - listen and watch for news regarding upcoming weather conditions.
- Don't risk driving in dangerous conditions. Enhance your defensive driving skills before being caught in one of the infamous foggy conditions we're prone to in this region and only drive when absolutely necessary.
- Make sure your emergency preparedness kit, as well as your first aid kit, is up to date and well stocked.
- Keep pets inside and take measures to protect livestock.
- Even a trickle of running water will keep pipes from freezing and ensure your car's gas tank is full.
- Have a backup plan for heating sources (food and environment) - never use charcoal, gas, grills, or camp stoves indoors.
- Keep in mind anyone in your home or community that may depend on electricity for life-saving/sustaining equipment and have a backup generator.
- Have emergency cash on hand as ATMs will most likely not be operating.
- Check your refrigerator once, write down every item and tape the list to the door. That way, you won't have to keep opening the door to see what's inside. Many other food safety tips can be found in the links below.
For additional information on winter storm safety: http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240231_WinterStorms.pdf
For additional information on power outage safety: http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4340121_PowerOutage.pdf
If you have a disaster preparedness topic you would like to see us blog about starting in 2014, send us an email!
For anyone traveling over the next couple of weeks, I wish you safe travels and a happy new year!
Amitai "Tai" S. Zuckerman
American Red Cross – Tulare and Kings Counties
AmeriCorps NPRC Member 2013-2014
Community Preparedness and Resilience Services