Winter Weather Preparedness Week - December 5 - 9, 2016
Prepare for Winter Weather
Although Georgia has some of the most beautiful weather in the country year-round, in winter the weather can turn dangerous. In recent years, several storms delivered thick layers of snow and ice that shut down transportation in many parts of the state for days.
Conditions such as snow, subfreezing temperatures, strong winds and even ice or heavy rain can result in downed power lines and blocked roads and highways. Here are a few steps to take to make sure you are prepared this winter:
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio and monitor commercial radio, television and the Internet to stay informed. In addition, learn about the terms used to describe winter hazards, such as freezing rain, sleet, winter weather advisory, winter storm watch and winter storm warning.
- Know the symptoms of frostbite (loss of feeling or pale appearance in extremities) and hypothermia (uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, slurred speech, drowsiness and exhaustion). If you suspect you have frostbite or hypothermia, seek medical attention immediately.
- Download the Ready Georgia mobile app, which was updated to include geo-targeted severe weather and emergency alerts that will notify your phone when disasters strike.
Make a Plan
- Create an emergency communications plan so family members will know who to contact if separated during a storm. Designate at least one out-of-town contact.
- Plan to stay inside, if necessary, for at least three days. If trapped outside during severe winter try to stay dry, cover all body parts, periodically move limbs to keep blood circulating and, if possible, build a fire.
- Plan for pets to come inside and store adequate food and water for them.
- If you have a wood burning fireplace, consider storing wood to keep you warm if winter weather knocks out your heat. Also, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year.
- Winterize your vehicle and keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent your fuel line from freezing.
- Avoid traveling in icy conditions. If you must go out and do get stuck, stay with your car. Pack an extra Ready kit in the trunk with an ice scraper, extra blanket, jumper cables and sand for traction.
Build a kit
- Prepare a Ready kit of emergency supplies for your home and car.
- Home Ready Kit: Include a three-day supply of nonperishable food, water, a flash light with extra batteries, a NOAA Weather Radio, adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm, as well as additional supplies for the unique needs of your family, such as medication.
- Automobile Ready Kit: In addition to the essentials in your home Ready kit, consider adding a portable cell phone charger, ice scraper, extra blanket, sand for traction and jumper cables.