Red Cross Tips for Preparing for the Winter Storm

By Rose Cordes

Red Cross Tips for Preparing for the Winter Storm

January 31, 2011 Updated Jan 31, 2011 at 5:15 PM CDT

The Red Cross released suggestions today on how to prepare and stay safe during the storm. The storm is expected to bring heavy snow and potentially ice which may cause hazardous driving conditions in addition to downed trees and power lines.

The Red Cross offers the following suggestions on how to prepare and stay safe throughout the storm.

Before the Storm: 

-Store drinking water, canned/no-cook food, and a non-electric can opener where they can be easily accessed, even in the dark.

-Get a NOAA Weather Radio to monitor severe weather.

-If unable to bring pets indoors, make sure they are protected by a dry, draft-free enclosure large enough to allow them to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold in the pet's body heat. Rasie the floor a few inches off the ground and cover it with cedar shavings or straw. Turn the enclosure away from the wind and cover the doorway with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

-Pack a kit with the essential supplies- flashlight and batteries, portable (battery-powered) radio, at least one gallon of water per person and a small supply of nonperishable food, and a Red Cross First Aid kit.

If you lose power: 

-Dress in warm layers.

-Keep the refrigerator and freezer closed to keep food cold.

-Turn off any applicances that were in use. This reduces the risk of overloading their circuitry when the power is restored.

-Keep batteries and flashlights in an easily accessible location. Only use the flashlight for emergency  lighting. Never use candles! They are a fire hazard.

-Do not run a generator inside a home or garage. Connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a generator to a home's electrical system.

-Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (relative, friend, or shelter) that has heat to keep warm.

-Use phone for emergencies only. Do not call 911 for information, only to report a life-threatening emergencies. Listen to a portable radio for the latest information.

-Let cold water drip from faucet. Running water through the pipe--even at a trickle--helps prevent pipes from freezing because the temperature of the water running through it is above freezing.

For more information about winter safety visit www.redcrossillinois.org/winter-safety