EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSKanawha Officials Share Emergency Preparedness Tips
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Jeff Morris
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Nov. 26, 2013 3:25 PM EST
Updated: Nov. 26, 2013 3:34 PM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Kanawha County residents are being urged to take proper precautions with a winter storm on its way early Wednesday, emergency officials said.
“We’re told to expect heavy rains this afternoon when many people might be hitting the road for the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Dale Petry, director of the Kanawha County Commission’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. “Then tonight, it is supposed to change to a heavy, wet snowfall -- the kind of snow that brings trees down onto power lines and makes the roads slushy and slippery.”
Petry said the expected rain and snow could result in power disruptions and hamper travel plans on the busiest travel day of the year. Officials said they will monitor the weather conditions and effects of the storm as they develop. Citizens are urged to take proper precautions and be prepared to have supplies for emergency kits for up to 72 hours.
Officials offered the following tips on how to prepare for a winter storm:
* Do not travel unless it is absolutely necessary
* If you must travel keep extra food, blanket and water in the car
* Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
* Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
* Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
* If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
* Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
Officials also offered suggestions on how to put together a supply kit:
* Water — at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
* Food — at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
* Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
* Extra batteries
* First aid kit
* Medications (seven-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses)
* Multi-purpose tool
* Sanitation and personal hygiene items
* Cell phone with chargers
* Family and emergency contact information
* Extra cash
* Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
* Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
* Tools/supplies for securing your home
* Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery
* Warm coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and extra blankets and warm clothing for all household members
* Ample alternate heating methods such as fireplaces or wood- or coal-burning stoves
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