Emergency: Winter Storms
Winter storms in the form of freezing rain or sleet, ice, heavy snow or blizzards can be a serious hazard to people in may parts of the country. The first line of protection is to BE AWARE OF WEATHER CONDITIONS in your area.
By observing storm warnings, adequate preparation can be made to lessen the impact of hazardous weather conditions. To take full advantage of weather forecasts, learn and understand terms commonly used.
FREEZING RAIN AND FREEZING DRIZZLE indicates rain that freezes as it strikes the ground and other surfaces forming a coating of ice.
SLEET indicates small-particles of ice, usually mixed with rain. If enough sleet accumulates on the ground it will make travel hazardous.
SNOW, when used without a qualifying word, such as occasional or intermittent, indicates that a fall of snow is of a steady nature and will probably continue for several hours without let-up.
SNOW FLURRIES indicates periodic snow fall.
TRAVELERS' ADVISORIES are issued to indicate that falling, blowing, or drifting snow, freezing rain or drizzle, sleet, or strong winds may make driving difficult.
WIND CHILL is the effect of wind, in combination with actual temperature, which increases the rate of heat loss to the human body.
A winter storm could isolate you in your home for several days, Be prepared to be without electricity and conventional forms of heating and cooking.
Keep an adequate supply of heating fuel on hand and use it sparingly. Your regular supplies may be curtailed by storm conditions. If necessary, conserve fuel by keeping the house cooler than usual, or by "closing off" some rooms temporarily. Since most furnaces are controlled by electric thermostats, have available some kind of emergency heating equipment and fuel so you can keep at least one room of your house warm enough to be livable, should you experience a power failure. Common examples of emergency heating equipment are camp stoves, kerosene heaters, or a supply of wood if you have a fireplace.
Avoid all unnecessary trips. If you are forced to use your automobile for a trip of any distance, take these precautions:
KEEP CALM IF YOU GET IN TROUBLE!
If your car breaks down during a storm, or if you become stalled or lost, don't panic. Think the problem through, decide what is the safest and best thing to do, and then do it slowly and carefully. If a storm traps you on the road, pull off the highway, stay calm and remain in your car, where rescuers are most likely to find you. Set your directional lights to flashing, raise the hood of your car, or hang a cloth from the radio aerial or a car window. Then stay in your car and wait for help to arrive. Don't try to walk through a blizzard to safety. Getting lost can mean almost certain death.
Don't waste gas by running the heater continuously. Beware of the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Open a window for ventilation and periodically clear away snow from the exhaust pipe.
Stay alert. Exercise to maintain body heat. Move arms and legs vigorously and move around within the car. Never let everyone in the car sleep at one time. At night turn the dome light on so work crews may spot you.