Governor Pat McCrory has declared November 29 through December 5 as Winter Weather Preparedness Week and is urging North Carolinians to update their emergency supplies kits and review emergency plans.
“During the past two years we’ve seen several statewide winter storms with significant snow and ice accumulations,” said Governor McCrory. “This winter the National Weather Service is predicting abovenormal amounts of precipitation.
Regardless if that comes as rain, ice or snow, it is important to prepare now for winter weather. Weather conditions can change rapidly, so planning ahead can help your family stay safe this winter.”
“North Carolina winters are often unpredictable with combinations of the potential for snow, sleet, ice and freezing rain,” said Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry. “The past few years have reminded us that southern winters are not all mild. Knowing what to do, having what you need and staying informed can help you stay safe this winter.”
North Carolina Emergency Management officials urges people to:
• Keep alternative heating sources prepared. If you have a fireplace, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood. Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure your family knows how to use them.
• Properly vent kerosene heaters and keep any electric generators OUTSIDE and away from any open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, do not burn charcoal indoors. Carbon monoxide poisoning can result from charcoal fumes indoors.
• Keep fresh batteries on hand to use with flashlights and weather radios.
• Always keep at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food in your home.
• Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing to stay warm. You will be warmer and, as the temperature changes, you can easily remove layers to remain comfortable.
• Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include blankets, a batterypowered radio with extra batteries, a first aid kit, a flashlight with extra batteries, battery booster cables and flares, a tire repair kit and pump, a road map, a sack of cat litter (for tire traction), a tow rope, bottled water and non-perishable high-energy foods such as granola bars, extra clothing to keep dry, and a windshield scraper and brush.
State Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry warned that most deaths attributed to winter storms result from indirect dangers such as traffic accidents, falling trees, downed power lines, house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from improper use of space heaters, grills and stoves.
“People need to remember that driving on ice- or snow-covered roads is not the same as any other day,” Sprayberry added. “Roads are extremely slick. You need to reduce your speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles.”
North Carolina emergency officials remind residents that if conditions worsen and you can no longer drive safely, then pull off the highway, stay calm and remain in your vehicle. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you know you can take shelter.
The Department of Public Safety and the National Weather Service work together to give the public the most up-to-date and accurate weather and safety information to help residents take the proper measures to protect themselves, their neighbors and loved ones from the effects of dangerous winter storms.
For more information on how to prepare for winter storms, download the free ReadyNC app, which provides real-time information on traffic and weather conditions plus open shelters and items needed in an emergency supplies kit, or visit readync.org.
Source: NC Office of the Governor