Sunday, November 11, 2012

Winter Awareness Day is November 14, 2012

Governor Fallin advised some winter weather preparedness tips when she
declared Winter Weather Awareness Day in Oklahoma.

Have A Plan:

• Discuss with your family what to do if a winter storm watch or
warning is issued.
• Ensure your family knows meeting places and phone numbers of other
family members in case they are separated when a winter storm hits.
• Know what to do if basic services such as water, gas, electricity or
telephones are cut off for an extended period of time.
• Understand the hazards of wind chill. Cold temperatures are even
more dangerous, and potentially deadly, when combined with strong
winds. The lower the temperature and stronger the wind, the more at
risk you are.
• Check on family, friends and neighbors, especially the elderly. Make
sure they are prepared.
• Plan to bring pets inside during winter weather. Move livestock to
sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
• Install and check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
• Let faucets drip to avoid freezing and know how to shut off water
valves if necessary.
• Have an alternate heating method such as fireplace or wood or coal
burning stove. Always be cautious using a portable space heater.
• Have your car winterized before winter storm season. Keep your gas
tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
• Make sure your home is properly insulated. If necessary insulate
walls and attic. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills.
• Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
• To keep pipes from freezing, wrap them in insulation or layers of
old newspapers. Cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out
• Never heat a home with an oven if the electricity goes out

Make A Kit:

• Windshield scraper, de-icer, snow shovel and small broom for ice and
snow removal.
• A cell phone with charger and a battery powered radio.
• Several blankets or sleeping bags.
• Mittens, they are warmer than gloves because fingers generate warmth
when they touch each other.
• Rain gear, warm coats and extra sets of dry clothing, mittens, socks
and a cap.
• Non-perishable snacks like dried fruit, nuts and other high energy
• Several bottles of water. Eating snow will lower your body
temperature. If necessary, melt it first.
• Sand or cat litter for generating traction under wheels and a set of
tire chains or traction mats.
• Jumper cables, flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit and
brightly colored cloth to tie to antenna if you get stranded.
Stay Informed:

• Know what National Weather Service winter storm and blizzard watches
and warnings mean.
• A winter storm watch is a message indicating a winter storm is
possible in your area.
• A winter storm warning indicates a winter storm is occurring winter
storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area and could threaten
life and property.
• A winter weather advisory means winter weather conditions are
expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous,
especially to motorists.
• A frost/freeze warning means below freezing temperatures are expected.
• Ice storms usually bring heavy accumulations of ice that can bring
down trees, electrical wires, telephone poles and lines, and
communication towers. Communications and power can be disrupted for
days while the utility company works to repair the extensive damage.
• A blizzard warning means sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 mph
or greater and considerable falling or blowing snow is expected to
prevail for a period of three hours or longer.
• Depend on your NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio, along with local
radio and television stations, for weather reports.

Be Cautious with Alternative Heat Sources:

Never use generators, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline or
charcoal-burning devices inside your home or garage. They produce
carbon monoxide which is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that
kills more than 500 people every year. Use extra caution when using
space heaters.

• Use fireplaces, wood stoves, or other combustion heaters only if
they are properly vented.
• Do not place a space heater within 3 feet of anything that may catch
on fire, such as drapes, furniture, or bedding, and never cover your
space heater.
• Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water.
• Never leave children unattended near a space heater.
• Do keep a multipurpose fire extinguisher on hand in case of emergency.
• Protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning by installing a
battery-operated carbon monoxide detector and never using generators,
grills, camp stoves or similar devices indoors.

Follow the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management at: or

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