During the Storm
Please follow these guidelines for your safety during a storm.
- Check on elderly neighbors and relatives. The elderly are especially susceptible to hypothermia even inside their homes and icy and slippery surfaces can cause dangerous falls for them.
- Clear fire hydrants. With the large volume of snow, fire hydrants become buried. Take time to clear the snow away from the hydrants so that emergency personnel can find them quickly if needed.
- Clear snow from decks. Snow is heavy and can put a great deal of strain on decks. If you can safely shovel the snow from your deck, do so.
- Clear storm drains. After a large snow like this, as the temperatures increase, the potential for flooding exists. Make sure that the snow is cleared from storm drains to prevent pooling and flooding that may result from melting snow.
- Cold weather puts a strain on the heart, even without exercise. Be careful when shoveling snow, pushing a car, or other exertion.
- Do not use candles. Candles can easily tip over or ignite nearby combustibles. In the event of a power outage, a flashlight should be used for emergency lighting.
- Gas meters and vents: another suggestion is to clear the snow from around the external natural gas meter installation in case your natural gas system needs service. Please clear away the snow with your hands. Do not use a shovel because it could cause damage.
- If you go outside to clear hydrants, driveways, or storm drains, remember to protect yourself from winter storm hazards.
- If you have a high efficiency gas furnace or appliance that requires an outside air source, make sure the external air vent is clear of any snow to insure proper operation.
- Listen to the television, or if the power goes out, a battery-powered radio for updates on the weather and other storm-related information.
- Prevent pipes from freezing. To keep water pipes from freezing, wrap them in pipe insulation. During sustained cold periods, let each faucet drip a little to avoid freezing.
- Stay home. Avoid driving and other travel until conditions have improved. Most of the roadways are still impassable and blocked by snow. Residents should stay home and off the roads so that the snow removal crews can do their job plowing the roadways.
- Stay indoors and dress warmly during the storm. Wearing layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing will keep you warmer than one bulky sweater. Remove layers to avoid overheating, perspiration, and subsequent chill.
- Keep an adequate supply of fuel in your home. Have an alternate heat source such as a woodstove, fireplace, or space heater in case you lose power. When using alternative heating sources, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Make sure that they are in well-ventilated areas to prevent carbon monoxide from building up.
- Keep emergency supplies on hand. Make sure you have a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, and extra prescription medications that you might need.
Wear layered clothing, mittens or gloves, and a hat. Layering clothes will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Mittens are warmer than gloves because fingers maintain more warmth when they touch each other. Hats are important because half of your body heat loss is from the head.