Winter weather awareness: Be prepared!

5:12 PM, Nov 14, 2012   |    comments
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This week, November 11th through 17th, is Winter Weather Awareness Week in Ohio. Each day this week, we'll bring you a different topic about winter weather.

*Download WKYC's Winter Weather Safety Guide (PDF) @

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Today's Topic: Be Prepared Before The Storm Strikes

Normally when a winter storm is expected, the National Weather Service will issue a winter storm watch 12 to 36 hours in advance. A winter storm watch means that conditions exist for the possible cccurrence of severe winter weather such as blizzard conditions, heavy snow, significant freezing rain or heavy sleet.

The issuance of the winter storm watch is your signal to prepare for the storm now. Once the storm begins, travel may be too dangerous or impossible.

Preparing at home (and at work)

Remaining indoors protected from the elements is the safest place curing a winter storm. The primary concern of indoor shelter is the potential loss of heat, power, telephone service and a shortage of supplies if the storm persists for more than a day.

Have available:

  • flashlight with extra batteries
  • battery powered noaa weather radio and portable radio
  • extra food and water, especially high energy food that requires no cooking or refrigeration such as dried fruit and canned goods (don`t forget the non-electric can opener)
  • medicine, first aid supplies, and ample baby supplies
  • emergency heating source, such as a stocked fireplace, wood stove, or space heater
  • smoke detector and fire extinguisher, the chance of fire increases dramatically using alternative heating

Don`t forget, you may not be at home when the storm strikes! Have emergency supplies available at your place of work.

Preparing the car or truck

About 70% of deaths during an ice or snow storm occur in a vehicle!

If you wonder if you should attempt to travel, then don't! If you must travel, then allow extra time. Reduce your speed and do not attempt to make sudden turns or stops. Winterize the vehicle so it will be reliable. This includes a good set of tires.

Other items necessary for the car or truck include:

  • dry blanket(s) or sleeping bag
  • extra dry clothing
  • flashlight with extra batteries
  • high calorie non-perishable food
  • snow shovel, windshield scraper, and brush
  • sack of sand, rock salt, or kitty litter for traction
  • booster cables
  • first aid kit and a small container for water
  • maps, compass, knife, and water proof matches

On the farm:

Animals must be moved to sheltered areas. Extra feed should be hauled nearby for easy access. Have plenty of water available and make sure it does not freeze. Most animal deaths during winter storms occur from dehydration.

Keep abreast of the latest NWS weather forecast. Listen to NOAA weather radio and your local radio and tv station for updated storm information.

Being prepared before the storm hits will keep you and your family from unnecessary risk!


Information courtesy of the National Weather Service office in Cleveland.


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