Are you prepared for the Storm?

WEB_First-snow

CLE this is what forecasters are predicting for the next few days. Are you prepared? (Photo by Shelley M. Shockley)

The National Weather Service (NWS) has placed a Winter Storm Watch warning out for northeast Ohio beginning at 5 p.m. today and continuing through 8 p.m. Wednesday. Local forecasters are predicting accumulations of 8-12 inches of snow.

The snow is expected to be wet heavy flakes that have the potential of accumulating on power lines and tree branches, so what should you do to prepare?

In Your Home:

  • Make sure you have flashlights, battery-powered radio and extra batteries in case of an interruption of power.
  • Charge cell phones, tablets, and laptops so that you can stay connected in the event of an outage. Also, charge your chargers for extra power.
  • Gather blankets, sleeping bags and extra clothing to keep everyone comfortable.
  • Keep non-perishable snacks and food that does not require cooking handy.
  • Stock up on bottled water.
  • Keep a cooler handy with ice packs and/or ice to keep perishable items cold in case of an outage.
  • Unplug and avoid using major electric appliances

Food Safety:

  • Unless there is a major outage extending more than 4 hours, your food should be safe in the refrigerator as long as you leave the doors closed. After that point, you may want to begin to prepare and/or eat the food.
  • Food in the freezer will hold much longer. According to the USDA, “a full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.”
  • If it appears the outage will last for a prolonged period of time, the USDA advises obtaining dry ice or block ice to keep the refrigerator cold. The USDA reports “fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic foot full freezer for 2 days.”

In Your Car

Prepare an emergency kit that is always available. Some of the items you should include are:

  • A shovel
  • Windshield scraper and small broom
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Water
  • Snack food
  • Matches
  • Extra hats, socks, and mittens
  • First aid kit with pocket knife
  • Necessary medications
  • Blanket(s)
  • Tow chain or rope
  • Road salt and sand
  • Booster cables
  • Emergency flares
  • Fluorescent distress flag

If you find yourself outside during a storm remember the following:

  • Downed power lines – Never touch, move or go near any downed or hanging lines. The first action should be to call 9-1-1 or your local utility. CPP’s Trouble Line can be reached by calling 216-664-3156.
    • Do not put your feet in water where a downed line is laying
    • Do not try to move tree limbs
    • If you see someone who has come into contact with a downed line, do not touch them, again call 9-1-1
    • If a line comes down on your car stay inside, roll down your window and warn others to stay away. Call authorities or ask a passerby to call authorities. The only time you should exit a vehicle with a downed line on it is if it has caught fire. If the vehicle is on fire, open the door and jump with both feet together to avoid contact with the car. It is metal and therefore you could receive a shock.
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