Disaster Preparedness - Blizzard

Here are some tips from the Red Cross, FEMA, emergency workers, first responders and others to help you prepare in case a blizzard heads your way. Feel free to print this out.

- Create a Winter Storm Plan
- Your Home and Property
-Heating Sources
- Prepare a Home Inventory

- Look Into Insurance
- If a Winter Storm/Blizzard Watch or Warning is Issued...
- Additional Information

Create a Winter Storm Plan

Be prepared to keep warm.

1.       Have extra blankets on hand and make sure that each member of your household has a warm coat, gloves or mittens, hat, and water-resistant boots.

2.       Store flashlights, matches and firewood, in case of a power failure. Gather extras if a winter storm is on its way.

TIP: Flashlights.

If possible, use flashlights instead of candles. Flames are quite dangerous and could ignite gases. Store a flashlight in each bedroom and other common areas around your home. Make sure each family member knows where they are located.

TIP: Batteries.

Don't use high end batteries (lithium, ultra, etc.) for flashlights. Too much power will burn out the flashlight's bulb.

The Family Emergency Plan

1.       Draw a floor plan of your residence.

o        Mark two escape routes from each room. If your home has more than one story, make sure there is a way to safely exit the upper floors.

o        Consider that the snow could be very deep and you might not be able to open doors to outside.

o        Place a copy in each room in an obvious location - near the door, on a bulletin board, etc.

o        Tell each family member about the escape route plan.

  Designate a place for family to meet outside the neighborhood. Make sure all family members know the address and phone number.

o        Family members not home when the blizzard begins? Have them call and give you the address and phone number of where they are.

o        Practice your escape plan every month. Practice using both exits. Make sure windows and doors aren't stuck and that screens can be removed. Also, practice exiting with your eyes closed or in the dark (it may be hard to see in an emergency especially at night).

o        Know the emergency response plan for your workplace, your children's school or child care center, as well as other places where your family spends time.

o        Know where emergency shelters are in case of a power or heat loss.

o        Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross for information on designated public shelters.

o        Get a battery-operated National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio to receive weather warnings promptly.

TIP: Weather Radio.

Protect yourself and your family as you sleep. If there is a severe warning in your area, at any time of day, the NOAA Weather Radio will automatically turn on and alert you with beeps and sirens. It will even alert you if the power is out because they have battery back-up. Look for NOAA radios with the "SAME" feature (Specific Area Message Encoding) which means the receiver is capable of turning itself on from a silent mode.