Prepping for winter weather

POSTED: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - 2:23pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:53am

Nov. 10 is Severe Winter Weather Awareness Day. When severe ice storms strike in Texas, the power may be out for several days. Take precautions after the storm as you wait for power to be restored. Here are some
safety tips:

- Generators and other fuel-powered devices should never be operated
inside a home or an enclosed space, such as a garage. Unsafe practices
could result in a build-up of deadly carbon monoxide fumes. The symptoms
of carbon monoxide poisoning include: headache, dizziness, weakness,
nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. If anyone in your home
experiences these symptoms, step outdoors, ventilate the area and dial
9-1-1.

 - Report power outages. Turn off electrical appliances that were
operating at the time power went off, including your heating system.
Leave one light on, so that you will know when service has been
restored.

- Power lines weighted with ice may be down or touching other objects,
an extremely dangerous situation. Contact with power lines can charge
cables, chain link fences and even tree limbs with electricity. Power
lines can electrify a fence line throughout an entire neighborhood.
Contact your power company for assistance.

- Many people are injured each year by falling tree branches after any
kind of severe storm. Ice storms are no exception. Heavy ice can make
tree limbs and trees themselves unstable. Be safe. Wait until the thaw
and call a tree care specialist.

- Refrain from driving on icy roads. If you must travel, drive slowly
and increase your stopping distance. Watch for downed trees and power
lines across roads. If power fails, treat all intersections as four-way
stops. Pack blankets, water, food items and a phone to take with you.

- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and be cautious with fire. Keep candle
flames at least three feet away from cardboard, wood and other
combustible objects. Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets,
and extinguish flames before leaving a room or falling asleep.

For additional winter weather preparedness information, click on:
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter/
http://www.redcross.org
http://www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/winter.html
 

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