In the tune of “Be Red Cross Ready,” I thought throwing out a few winter weather tips couldn’t hurt, seeing as every news station in town is predicting one doozy of a winter storm! Between ice and snow, bad roads and cars with doors iced shut, I’ll wager many people will be sticking closer to home the next few days. While you’re there, consider using these tips:
Make a Winter Storm Plan
- Be prepared to shelter at home in case of severe weather. Have additional food and water stored to last seven to fourteen days.
- Have extra blankets on hand.
- Ensure that each member of your household has a warm coat, gloves or mittens, a hat, and water-resistant boots.
- Assemble a disaster supplies kit for your home and vehicle.
- Have your vehicle winterized before the weather gets severe.
- Decide how you would communicate with your family members should you be separated and unable to travel when a winter storm hits.
- Learn how you would receive information from local officials should hazardous winter weather affect your neighborhood.
- Know the difference between a winter storm WATCH (a winter storm is possible in your area) and a winter storm WARNING (a winter storm is headed for your area).
- Consider getting first aid and CPR training in case you need to respond in an emergency before professionals arrive on the scene.
If the Power Goes Out
- Do not use candles for lighting if the power goes out. Use flashlights only.
- Use items in the refrigerator first, then freezer, then non-perishable foods.
- Use generators correctly – If you have a portable generator and the power goes out, always plan to keep the generator outdoors. Never operate it inside, including the basement, garage, carport or near any open windows. Connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not hook up a generator directly to your home’s wiring.
Stay toasty and safe out there, West Michigan! If you want more complete information on winter storms, visit us at www.redcrossggr.org.