Winter Storm Safety
Winter Storm Safety Checklist Winter Storm Safety Checklist [PDF]
Winter storms are predicted for the Portland Metro area this holiday weekend, and maybe into next week. Storms here can range from light snow over a few hours to heavy wind, driven rain that lasts for several days. Some of our winter storms are accompanied by low temperatures and some by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain. Know the Difference The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement for the Greater Portland Metro Area. As much as 3-5″ of snow could occur over the next 36 hours. What should I do if the storm hits?
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a emergency supplies kit in your vehicle.
- If you must go out, dress in several layers of lightweight clothing, wear mittens and a hat (preferably one that covers your ears).
- Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.
- Keep the gas tank of your vehicle full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Cover leaky window with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
- Bring pets/companion animals inside. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with nonfrozen drinking water.
- Running tap or bath water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- All fuel-burning equipment, used for alternate heating or cooking, should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
What supplies should I have on hand?
- Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
- Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
- Battery powered or handcrank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and any necessary medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Cell phone with chargers
- Extra cash
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Pet supplies
- Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery
- Warm coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and extra blankets and warm clothing for all household members
- Ample alternate heating methods such as fireplaces or wood or coal-burning stoves
What might I need to know after a storm?
- Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog.
- Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, such as shoveling snow, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task.
- Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loosefitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.
- Help people who require special assistance such as elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
- Check on your animals and make sure that their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles. If possible, bring them indoors.
- Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power or heat during periods of extreme cold.
One last thought: carbon monoxide kills.
- The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawl space or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
- If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door.
- Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.
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