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Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Citizens Urged to Prepare for Winter Weather
Jackson County Commissioner Chair, Anthony Fixico has signed a proclamation designating Wednesday, November 13 as "Winter Weather Preparedness Day" in Jackson County and urged citizens to prepare for the upcoming winter weather season.
“In recent years we've experienced winter weather storms, including devastating ice storms and blizzards," Fixico said. "We all need to be aware of these natural threats we face in our community and take responsibility to make sure we are properly prepared when disaster strikes."
The Jackson County Emergency Management Office has joined with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the National Weather Service and other agencies to raise public awareness about what can be done to prepare for hazardous winter weather. Individuals or groups who would like to host a program to help become better prepared should call the Jackson County Emergency Management Office at 580-482-0229.
Winter Weather Awareness Tips:
Have A Plan:
• Discuss with your family what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued.
• Ensure your family knows meeting places and phone numbers of other family members in case
they are separated when a winter storm hits.
• Know what to do if basic services such as water, gas, electricity or telephones are cut off for an
extended period of time.
• Understand the hazards of wind chill. Cold temperatures are even more dangerous, and
potentially deadly, when combined with strong winds. The lower the temperature and stronger
the wind, the more at risk you are.
• Check on family, friends and neighbors, especially the elderly. Make sure they are prepared.
• Plan to bring pets inside during winter weather. Move livestock to sheltered areas with non-
frozen drinking water.
• Install and check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
• Let faucets drip to avoid freezing and know how to shut off water valves if necessary.
• Have an alternate heating method such as fireplace or wood or coal burning stove. Always be
cautious using a portable space heater.
• Have your car winterized before winter storm season. Keep your gas tank full for emergency
use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
• Make sure your home is properly insulated. If necessary insulate walls and attic. 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.
Make A Kit:
• Windshield scraper, de-icer, snow shovel and small broom for ice and snow removal.
• A cell phone with charger and a battery powered radio.
• Several blankets or sleeping bags.
• Mittens, they are warmer than gloves.
• Rain gear, warm coats and extra sets of dry clothing, mittens, socks and a cap.
• Non-perishable snacks like dried fruit, nuts and other high energy “munchies.”
• Bottled water. Eating snow will lower your body temperature. If necessary, melt it first.
• Sand or cat litter for generating traction under wheels and a set of tire chains or traction mats.
• Jumper cables, flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit and brightly colored cloth to tie to
antenna if you get stranded.
• Know what National Weather Service winter storm and blizzard watches and warnings mean.
• A winter storm watch is a message indicating a winter storm is possible in your area.
• A winter storm warning indicates a winter storm is occurring winter storm is occurring or will
soon occur in your area and could threaten life and property.
• A winter weather advisory means winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant
inconveniences and may be hazardous, especially to motorists.
• A frost/freeze warning means below freezing temperatures are expected.
• Ice storms usually bring heavy accumulations of ice that can bring down trees, electrical wires,
telephone poles and lines, and communication towers. Communications and power can be
disrupted for days while the utility company works to repair the extensive damage.
• A blizzard warning means sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 mph or greater and
considerable falling or blowing snow is expected to prevail for a period of three hours or
• Depend on your NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio, along with local radio and television
stations, for weather reports.
Be Cautious with Alternative Heat Sources:
• Never use generators, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline or charcoal-burning devices inside
your home or garage. They produce carbon monoxide.
• Never heat a home with an oven if the electricity goes out
• Use fireplaces, wood stoves, or other combustion heaters only if they are properly vented.
• Do not place a space heater within 3 feet of anything that may catch on fire, such as drapes,
furniture, or bedding, and never cover your space heater.
• Use extra caution when using space heaters. Never place a space heater on top of furniture
or near water.
• Never leave children unattended near a space heater.
• Do keep a multipurpose fire extinguisher on hand in case of emergency.
• Protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning by installing a battery-operated carbon
monoxide detector and never using generators, grills, camp stoves or similar devices indoors.
Posted by Lloyd Colston
Important Web sites
- Altus Air Base Weather
- Altus Air Force Base MOU
- Altus Area Google Alerts
- Altus Area Scanner Feed
- Altus EM Calendar
- Altus Skywarn Association
- Altus/Jackson County Emergency Operations Plan (2011)
- Altus/Jackson County Local Emergency Planning Committee
- AltusEM on Paper.LI
- Amber Alerts Oklahoma
- American Red Cross
- Are You Ready?
- Business Blog from SWTC
- City of Altus
- Civil Air Patrol
- Emergency Managers' Contact List
- Google Mail
- National Hazard Mitigation Association
- National Weather Service
- NWS Enhanced Page
- Oklahoma Emergency Management
- Oklahoma Homeland Security
- Oklahoma Ice Map
- Oklahoma State Emergency Operations Plan
- Operation CARE
- Prepare Before Disaster Strikes
- Preparedness Calendar
- Quanah, TX Weather Station
- Radio Reference Scanner Link
- Spotter Network
- Taking Shelter from the Storm