The winter season is upon us, and Suffolk County Legislator Tom Muratore would like to offer residents helpful tips and websites in preparation of extreme cold weather and winter storms. “It is important to take simple precautionary measures to keep your family safe and protect your home, family, pets and personal property during the brutal winter months,” stated Legislator Muratore.
The following information is provided courtesy of http://www.ready.gov/
To prepare for a winter storm you should do the following:
Consider adding the following supplies to your emergency kit:
Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.
Sand to improve traction.
Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
A NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services.
Download FEMA’s Be Smart. Know Your Alerts and Warnings for a summary of notifications at: www.ready.gov/prepare. Free smart phone apps, such as those available from FEMA and the American Red Cross, provide information about finding shelters, providing first aid, and seeking assistance for recovery.
Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:
Update the emergency kits in your vehicles with:
Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
Remember to shut off water valves if necessary to prevent a pipe from bursting.
Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.
The Suffolk County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) coordinates the county’s response to natural and man-made disasters. OEM personnel are responsible for development of the Comprehensive All-Hazards Emergency Management Plan, the operation of the county’s Emergency Operation Center (EOC) and work with local, state, and federal officials in all aspects of shelter management, planning, resource management, and emergency response and recovery activities.
In case of an emergency, you should always dial 911. However, if you have a question in advance, the OEM can be contacted by phone at 631-852-4900, or by visiting the OEM page.