Tips for staying safe during winter storms.

February 18, 2015
Reader Laura Negele submitted this photo from U.S. 10 this morning.

Reader Laura Negele submitted this photo from U.S. 10 this morning.

As winter storm advisories continue this week, Mason County Emergency Management has issued information to help residents during the storms:

Before A Storm: Prepare

Prepare now in case a winter storm hits and you are home for several days without power and heat.

  • Prepare by gathering emergency supplies, making a family plan, and discussing emergency notifications and expectations with your workplace and/or schools.
  • Install battery-powered or battery back-up carbon monoxide detectors.
  • If you have access to an outside generator, have an electric cord long enough to keep the generator at least 20 feet from any door, window, or vent.
  • Make specific plans for how you will avoid driving.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions using local alerts, radio, and other news sources for information and instructions.

During A Storm: Survive

Stay indoors and avoid driving as much as possible. Listen to government officials’ warnings.

  • If the power goes out, close off unused rooms to consolidate and retain heat.
  • Wear layered clothing and use blankets or sleeping bags to stay warm.
  • Bring pets inside.
  • Never use generators, outdoor heating or cooking equipment, such as a grill, camp stove, or a gasoline or propane heater, indoors.
  • Never heat a home with a stove.
  • If driving is absolutely necessary, keep disaster supplies in your vehicle, make sure your vehicle is properly equipped, and use extra precaution on the roads. For kit ideas, visit http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit
  • Limit your time outdoors. If you are outside, protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing several layers of warm, loose-fitting clothing.

After A Storm: Recover

Driving conditions will still be dangerous; only drive if necessary.

  • If the power is out for more than a few days, your community may set up warming shelters.
  • If you do not have adequate supplies to stay warm in your home and you can get there safely, you may want to go to a shelter.
  • If you go outside, dress in warm clothing, stay dry, and avoid prolonged exposure to cold and wind to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia.


For more information about preparing for winter storms, visit http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

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