Editorial: Plan to cope with extreme weather
The often-used expression "the dead of winter" should refer to nature going dormant, people developing "cabin fever" from staying indoors and/or depression caused by a lack of summer sunshine and warm temperatures. It should never mean something more tragic.
Old Man Winter's wrath can put families in some difficult situations. Enviro-Log, Inc., an eco-friendly consumer products and recycling company, urges households to prepare for extreme weather by following important safety tips.
Be ready for a loss of power and utilities or worse. In cases of flooding or downed power lines, evacuating the premises and seeking shelter elsewhere could become necessary.
Everyone should know what to do during an emergency if all family members aren't together. Pick a place to meet and make sure all know the address of the location.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends programming a family member as "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) in one's phone. If getting in an accident and being unable to communicate, emergency personnel will often check ICE listings to get a hold of someone the injured party knows.
Have an emergency kit in the home, containing this:
--One gallon of water per person per day for at least 10 days, for drinking and sanitation;
--A 10-day supply of non-perishable food and a manual can opener;
--A battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries;
--A flashlight and extra batteries;
--A lighter, flint or waterproof matches for starting fires;
--Fire logs or firewood to be used for home heating and cooking;
--A first-aid kit;
--Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation;
--A laminated area map and compass;
--A cell phone with an extra battery or solar charger;
--A LAN-line phone which operates without electrical power;
--Any special needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities;
--Water and supplies for pets;
--Supply of critical medicines and prescriptions.
Likewise, carry a survival kit in the vehicle, including these:
--A first-aid kit;
--Blankets or sleeping bags;
--A cellular phone or two-way radio;
--A windshield scraper with snow brush;
--Flashlight with batteries;
--Extra winter clothes such as shoes, hats and gloves;
--Traction aids (bag of sand or cat litter) and tow chain;
--Non-perishable food and bottled water;
--A laminated road map;
--A transportable non-restrictive heat source such as fire logs;
--Any special-needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities who might be travelling in the vehicle;
--Water and supplies for any pets travelling in the vehicle.
Families are also reminded to not store liquid fuels in vehicles. They should use extra caution and follow proper safety guidelines when operating portable generators, too. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines on proper generator use can be found at OSHA.
and/or Red Cross at Red Cross