The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for most of northeast Ohio lasting through early Saturday. What does that mean? The rain that is falling now will turn into a wintry mix of rain and snow and finally just snow.
What can you expect? According to NWS:
A glaze of ice up to a quarter inch of is expected this afternoon, then accumulating snow later tonight and Saturday. In preparation for the storm, here is a list of items that will help keep you safe:
- 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
- Conditions such as those forecast for this weekend have the potential to result in ice and heavy snow accumulating on power lines and tree limbs, which could result in power outages. Below are tips to keep you safe during this and other winter storms:
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.
- Power outage and 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 Home Tips – unplug and avoid using major electric appliances and avoid using landline telephones. You should also avoid using the telephone because in the event of a lightning strike these lines and other wires can conduct electricity.
- We advise against using candles, but when using do not leave them unattended.
In the event of widespread outages, customers will also be able to follow updates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/clepublicpower (@CLEPublicPower).