With the possibility of ice accumulations in the forecast, it is important to know some tips for dealing with ice storms. This is especially true in our area, where storms of this magnitude are rare.
The National Weather Service and Emergency Officials warn residents to take immediate steps to prepare for power outages. The outages may be prolonged, due to the severity of the storm.
You should locate a source of light, such as flashlights, lanters, or portable emergency radios. Keep these devices close by. They should be easily accessible if the electricity goes out. Be careful if you use candles because they can cause a fire if tipped over. Do not leave candles unattended. You should have a battery operated radio and keep extra batteries, in the event the outage is prolonged. An emergency weather radio is strongly suggested.
Some residents may have generators. NEVER operate a generator indoors, or even near the air intake of your home. Doing so may lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Never operate charcoal grills, gas grills, or portable gas camping stoves indoors. It is strongly suggested you purchase a battery operated carbon monoxide detector.
Be aware that you may be without central heat and air for days following the storm. Plan to find an alternative heat source, such as gas logs, a gas stove or a kerosene heater, as well as heating fuel. Be sure the kerosene heater is ventilated to avoid the buildup of carbon monoxide. Keep the alternative heater away from curtains and drapery, or any flammable object.
Avoid drinking alcohol because it causes the body to loose heat more quickly. If you have no heat, watch for signs of hypothermia, especially in children and the elderly. Symptoms include uncontrolled shivering, slow speech, memory loss, stumbling, extreme tiredness and sleepiness.
If you use well water, prepare several gallons of drinking water. Stock up on canned food or food that does not need to be cooked. Be sure you have a manual can opener.
Check on neighbors, especially elderly neighbors.
Be sure to provide adequate food and shelter for any outdoor pets. If possible bring the pets inside.