Rick's Severe Winter Weather Tips
This article was originally published on December 21, 2012 and expired on March 15, 2013. It is provided here for archival purposes and may contain dated information.
Here are a few tips for handling power outages:
NEVER touch a utility wire that has been knocked to the
ground. It could still be live. Even if the wire appears to be a
cable or telephone line it could be in contact with an electric line and thus
present a potentially fatal hazard.If you operate a generator, make sure it is in a
well-ventilated area out of doors and never refuel an operating generator as
gasoline could come in contact with a hot exhaust system and ignite.
Never attempt to wire a generator into your home circuits without the
assistance of a qualified electrician. Doing so could present a deadly
hazard to utility workers.
Do not use a conventional stove or oven for heat. Make
certain that kerosene heaters are operated and refueled according to
If temperatures are below freezing, allow a small stream of
water to run from faucets, especially if the plumping is located along an
outside wall. Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warmer air to
Refrigerated and frozen food will eventually become unfit
for consumption. Use the material at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/disaster/facts/food.cfm
as a guide. Remember, "When in doubt, throw it out." Avoid opening
the refrigerator or freezer doors.
Even an inch of snow pushed by high winds can result in near-zero visibility and dangerous
travel conditions. If
you must travel, leave a "flight plan" with family or friends. Let them
know where you are headed and what routes you expect to take. Make sure
to have a fully charged cell phone and a winter emergency kit including
blankets, water, a shovel, jumper cables, energy bars, basic tools, a
flashlight with fresh batteries, a NOAA weather radio, a first aid kit and
other essential items. If you do become stuck, stay with your
vehicle. One can easily become disoriented during whiteout conditions.
Run your vehicle for about ten minutes every hour to maintain some heat.
Make sure the exhaust pipe is clear of ice and snow.
There are additional winter weather resources at http://urbanext.illinois.edu/winter/
, the National Weather Service at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter/index.shtml
and from the Extension Disaster education Network at http://eden.lsu.edu/Topics/Hazards/SnowIce/Pages/default.aspx
Updated weather forecasts are available from
NOAA all-hazards weather radios, www.weather.gov
and many commercial weather websites.
Source: Rick Atterberry, Media Communications Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pull date: March 15, 2013