Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Winter Storm named Jonas

I'm sure by now you're aware that a major winter storm, Jonas, is about to descend upon DC, MD, VA (DMV) and other surrounding states. Typically we (DMVers) joke about snowstorms hitting the Nation's Capital and we have a tendency to panic at the last minute and stock up on food items. However, there are other essential items and information necessary for riding out a storm safely.  So let's prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.

This storm has the potential to be a massive record breaking snowfall. There's still time to get your water, flashlights, batteries, non perishable foods to last approximately 3 days, refill medication to last about 7days, fill gas tanks, etc.

The following are tips from the Red Cross to help you navigate and be safe during the storm.

  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information on snow storms and blizzards from the National Weather Service (NWS).

  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure that their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles.

  • 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 garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.

  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.

  • Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power or heat during periods of extreme cold.

  • Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.

  • Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task.

  • Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.

  • Help people who require special assistance such as elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.

If you haven't prepared, click here for preparation guidance. You have a few hours left. Get what you need, and get off the roads by 12:00 noon on Friday.  

Be safe, be smart, be prepared and embrace your snow journey. 

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