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Winter Storms No Joking Matter

Winter Storms No Joking Matter

Winter has finally arrived in Alabama. In recent weeks, areas of state have experienced winter storms. As there is a rush to the store for milk and bread, it is important to remember that these winter storms are no joke. They bring extreme conditions with them, many of which residents are not used to facing. Alabamians need to be prepared to face an array of different conditions during these winter storms.

Winter Storms

Winter weather in Alabama often involves cold temperatures, ice and possible snow accumulation. Even if the amounts are relatively light, ice and snow on roads can cause hazardous road conditions. Drivers should exercise extreme caution when traveling in winter conditions, preparing for snow/ice covered roads and limited visibility.

When temperatures drop into the teens,  hard freezes are a real threat. Wind chills are also often hazardous, as they sometimes reach into the single digits. When facing winter weather conditions, remember the following tips.

  • Listen to a weather radio (NOAA, National Weather Service, etc.) for updates.
  • Run water, even at a trickle, to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • In extremely cold temperatures, seek retreat at a designated public shelter if your home loses power or heat.
  • Avoid driving in conditions of sleet, freezing rain, snow or dense fog.
  • Keep an emergency supply kit in your vehicle in case travel is necessary, including blankets in the event you become stranded.

Power Outages

Winter weather conditions can cause power outages, and prepare in advance in case they happen in your area. Keep the following in mind to be prepared to face power outages:

  • Know where your flashlight and batteries are located.
  • If you have a gas heater, ensure that it is in good working condition.
  • Keep generators in working order and keep a supply of fuel for them.
  • Insulate exposed pipes to prevent freezing or breaking.
  • Ensure you have access to a first aid kit and fire extinguisher.
  • Keep up a stock of food and water supplies.
  • Keep your car’s fuel tank full.

In the event of loss of power, under no circumstance should people use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside a home or any partially enclosed area. When using these devices, make sure to move them away from any doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

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