Winter Weather Awareness Week | Weather
Winter brings the promise of special holidays, family gatherings with delicious food, and a respite from the work world as the year comes to an end. However, winter can also bring dangerous weather resulting in property damage, injuries and loss of life when we are not prepared. Are you and your family ready for winter?
The Shelby County Office of Preparedness, along with the National Weather Service, reminds citizens to get prepared during Winter Weather Awareness Week, November 14 through 18. There are four simple steps to winter weather safety and preparedness:
1. Know your risks: Even here in the Mid-South, where winters are mild, we can experience high winds, tornadoes, flooding, frigid temperatures, freezing rain, sleet and snow.
2. Get a kit: Create an emergency “go kit” for home, work, and auto with enough supplies to sustain you and your pets for at least seven days that includes:
· flashlights, batteries
· ALERT FM receiver and NOAA weather radio with a battery back-up and tone alert
· sand or cat litter
· eye glasses or contact lenses
· first-aid kit and medications (prescription and over-the-counter)
· water and non-perishable food
· tools: pocket knife, shovel, wrench, pliers, crow bar, hammer, all purpose tool, can opener
· mobile phone and charger
· personal protective equipment (helmet, gloves, mask, goggles, reflective vest)
· clothing in light layers, boots, coat, mittens, scarf
· copies of important documents (insurance, medical, identification, photos, phone numbers)
· pet supplies (identification, medication, kennel, leash, food, water, toys)
· infant supplies (formula, diapers, medication, toys)
· special needs items (medication, hearing aid and wheelchair batteries, oxygen)
Auto “go kits” should include all the above plus:
· Road maps and GPS
· Tow rope
· Ice scraper
· emergency flares, emergency blankets
· red flag and HELP OK sign
3. Make a Plan:
· Check the weather ahead of time and only travel when it is safe. Let others know your route and estimated time of arrival.
· Winterize your auto with a thorough tune up (check antifreeze, tires, wipes, heater and hazard lights)
· Winterize your home with insulation and have a secondary heat source. Insulate or wrap pipes before temperatures freeze.
Have a working smoke alarm and an ABC fire extinguisher for each floor of your home.
· Program ICE phone numbers (in case of emergency) in your cell phone.
· Make a communications plan with your family as to where you will meet in case you get separated.
· Select an out of town relative each family member can call to check in with.
· Practice your plans!
4. Stay Informed:
Have an ALERT FM and NOAA weather radio with you at all times and heed the warnings
Learn the winter weather terms:
Freeze warning: temperatures at or below 32 degrees F for 3 or more consecutive hours.
Wind chill advisory: wind chill readings between – 10 and 0 degrees F
Wind chilll warning: wind chill readings at or below –10 degrees F
Winter weather advisory: 1 – 2 inches of snow or sleet will accumulate in less than 12 hours
Winter storm watch: 2 inches of sleet or snow or ¼ inch of ice will accumulate in the next 12 hours
Winter storm warning: greater than 2 inches of snow or sleet in 12 hours or greater than 4 inches of snow in 24 hours will accumulate
Remember, take the time now to prepare for winter weather.