Winter Weather Safety Tips (from the National Weather Service Birmingham)
Keep ahead of a winter weather by listening to the latest weather warnings and bulletins on NOAA Weather Radio, local radio or television. Be alert to changing conditions and avoid unnecessary travel. Also, make sure you check and stock your home/business emergency kit.
For your home…Plan ahead!
• Check battery powered equipment, and stock extra batteries for flashlights and a portable television or radio. Also, check emergency cooking facilities.
• Check your food and stock an extra supply. Your supplies should include food that requires no cooking or refrigeration in case of power failures. Consider high energy foods such as dried fruit or candy. Don’t forget prescription medicines, first aid supplies, and other specialty items.
• Check your supply of heating fuel, but prevent fire hazards due to overheated coal or oil-burning stoves, fireplaces, heaters, or furnaces.
• Stay indoors during storms and cold snaps. Elderly persons, children, and those in bad health may be especially susceptible to cold weather. Avoid overexertion, especially if shoveling snow.
• Dress to fit the season. Loose, layered clothing will keep your warm, and a hat and mittens will protect your extremities.
• Winterize your home by caulking around openings, installing storm windows, and adding insulation.
• Don’t forget your pets or livestock. Move animals to sheltered areas. For pets, bring them indoors or provide some form of heat. Provide fresh water since many pets die from dehydration in winter storms.
In your vehicle…be prepared!
• Get your car winterized before the storm season begins. Maintain a checklist of the preparation required.
• Carry a winter storm car kit, especially if you plan cross country travel or anticipate travel in northern states. Items to consider include a mobile phone and charger, blankets or sleeping bags, flashlights and batteries, first aid kit, non-perishable foods, extra clothing, window scraper, water, road maps, small shovel, and kitty litter or sand for traction.
• If the storm exceeds or even tests your driving limitations, seek available shelter immediately. Plan your travel and select primary and alternate routes. Check the latest weather information before departing, and drive carefully and defensively. Avoid traveling alone, and be sure someone knows your travel plans and route of travel.