Residents are offered the following winter weather awareness tips:
- Know what winter storm and blizzard watches and warnings mean.
- A NWS Winter Storm watch is a message indicating that conditions are favorable for hazardous winter precipitation to develop.
- A NWS warning indicates that a winter storm is occurring or is approaching and could threaten life and property.
- A blizzard warning means sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable falling snow expected for a period of three hours or longer.
PLAN FOR A WINTER STORM
- Develop a family disaster plan for winter storms. Discuss with your
family what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued. Everyone
should know what to do in case all family members are not together
when a winter storm hits.
- Understand the hazards of wind chill, which means cold temperatures
are more dangerous when combined with strong winds.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors, especially the elderly.
- Don't forget about pets. Make sure they have food and water supplies
- Have your car winterized. During storm season, keep gas tanks full for
emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Make sure homes are properly insulated. Caulk and weather-strip
doors and windowsills.
- Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
- To keep pipes from freezing, wrap them in insulation or layers of old
newspapers. Cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture.
- Let faucets drip to avoid freezing.
- Know how to shut off water valves.
- Install and check smoke alarms.
- Keep safe emergency heating equipment, such as a fireplace and wood.
The following tips are offered to those who must go out during a winter
- If going out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises to arm up the
body. This will reduce muscle injury.
- Avoid over-exertion.
- Walk carefully on snowy, icy sidewalks.
- Dress in many layers and wear a hat and gloves.
- Go indoors often for warm-up breaks.
- If you start to shiver or get very tired, or if your nose, fingers, toes or
earlobes feel numb or turn extremely pale, go inside right away and seek
medical assistance because those are signs of hypothermia and
- Let someone know your destination, route and arrival time.
- If stranded, stay with your vehicle and hang a brightly colored cloth on
the radio antenna and raise the hood (after snow stops falling).
Lloyd Colston, director, said a winter storm disaster supply kit should
- A cell phone with extra battery or two-way radio.
- Windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal.
- Several blankets or sleeping bags.
- Rain gear and extra sets of dry clothing, mittens, socks, and a cap.
- Non-perishable snacks, such as canned fruit, nuts, and other highenergy
- Several bottles of water.
- Small sack of sand or kitty litter for generating traction under wheels, a
set of tire chains, or traction mats.
- Jumper cables, a first aid kit, flashlight and extra batteries, and a
brightly colored cloth.
Persons desiring additional information are encouraged to contact the
Altus Emergency Management office at 580.482.8336. Citizens may
obtain information on the Internet at http://www.cityofaltus.org and
click the Emergency Management link.