Plan now for the winter to come with these disaster tips

By The Pulse Nov 14, 2014

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It’s that time of year again when snow is falling, roads are icy and temperatures may dip below zero. This week's unseasonably cold temperatures should remind all of us to prepare for the winter ahead.

One of the primary concerns is the winter weather's ability to knock out heat, power and communications services to your home, sometimes for days at a time.

Heavy snowfall and extreme cold can immobilize an entire region.Wyoming Medical Center's Disaster Department plans accordingly to mitigate effects of winter damage to the hospital, but we are only effective when our employee’s are prepared at home to come into work. We want to remind you of some winter preparedness tips:

  • Make sure you have enough fuel in your vehicle in case you get stuck. Always stay with your vehicle, and let help come to you.
  • Always carry extra blankets, water and snack foods in your vehicle. Also consider carrying a flashlight with extra batteries, a shovel for digging tires out of snow, a first-aid kit and a charged cell phone.
  • If cell service is overloaded, use text messages as they can often get around network disruptions.
  • Have a plan in case heating is lost in your home. Take extra precautions when trying to heat your home during a power outage:
    1. Do not heat your home with kerosene heaters, charcoal or combustion appliances including gas stoves or ovens. These create carbon monoxide fumes. Never operate gas-burning heaters in a poorly ventilated or closed room or when you are sleeping.
    2. Plug-in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors will not work if your power is out. Keep this in mind when using fire places to heat your home.
    3. Do not bring outdoor grills inside to heat your home. Inside, these are fire and Carbon Monoxide dangers.
    4. If power loss continues through the night, be extra careful when lighting your home with candles. They should never be left unattended, especially when you have small children and pets that could knock them over. Use flashlights if available.
    5. If you are using a generator to power your home, make sure it goes through a transfer switch. If you don’t, you could actually energize downed power lines outside your home, and could endanger the lives of utility workers trying to restore power. Using a generator plugged into an extension cord to power a single heating unit is safe.


Safety tips provided by Wyoming Medical Center's Emergency Management department.

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