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Friday, December 15, 2017, 3:58 p.m.

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Weather Tips


• A winter storm Warning means a winter storm is headed for your area.


• Winter storm watch means there may be hazardous winter weather due to various elements such as heavy snow, sleet, or ice accumulation from freezing rain. A "watch" is a long-range prediction. They are issued at least 12 hours before the hazardous winter weather is expected to begin. When the storm becomes imminent, or has a high probability of occurring, the watch is upgraded to a "warning".


When a Winter Storm Warning is issued:

• Stay indoors during the storm.

• If you must go outside, several layers of lightweight clothing will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat. Gloves (or mittens) and a hat will prevent loss of body heat. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs.

• Understand the hazards of wind chill, which combines the cooling effect of wind and cold temperatures on exposed skin.

• As the wind increases, heat is carried away from a person's body at an accelerated rate, driving down the body temperature.

• Walk carefully on snowy, icy, sidewalks.

• After the storm, if you shovel snow, be extremely careful. It is physically strenuous work, so take frequent breaks. Avoid overexertion.

Travel (Back to top)

• Avoid traveling by car in a storm.

• If you must travel, carry a disaster supplies kit in the trunk.

• Keep your car's gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.

• Let someone know your destination, your route and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

If You Do Get Stuck:

• Stay with your car. Do not try to walk to safety.

• Tie a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) to the antenna for rescuers to see.

• Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes won't back up in the car.

• Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so that you can be seen.

• As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to keep blood circulating and to stay warm.

• Keep one window away from the blowing wind slightly open to let in air.

After a Winter Storm

• Continue listening to local radio or television stations or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions.

• Help a neighbor who may require special assistance.

• Avoid driving and other travel until conditions have improved.

• Avoid overexertion. Heart attacks from shoveling heavy snow are a leading cause of deaths during winter.

• Follow forecasts and be prepared when venturing outside. Major winter storms are often followed by even colder conditions.

Basics for your home (Back to top)

Water

• Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people need more.

• Store 1 gallon of water per person per day.

• Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food preparation/sanitation).

Food

• Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Include a selection of the following foods: ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables; canned juices; staples; high energy foods; vitamins; food for infants; comfort/stress foods.

First Aid Kit

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car.

• (20) adhesive bandages, various sizes.

• (1) 5-inch x 9-inch sterile dressing.

• (1) conforming roller gauze bandage.

• (2) triangular bandages.

• (2) 3-inch x 3-inch sterile gauze pads.

• (2) 4-inch x 4-inch sterile gauze pads.

• (1) roll 3-inch cohesive bandage.

• (2) germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• (6) antiseptic wipes.

• (2) pair large medical grade non-latex gloves.

• Adhesive tape, 2" width.

• Anti-bacterial ointment.

• Cold pack.

• Scissors (small, personal).

• Tweezers.

• CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield.

Non-Prescription Drugs

• Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever

• Anti-diarrhea medication

• Antacid

• Syrup of Ipecac

• Laxative

• Activated charcoal

Tools and Supplies

• Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils

• Emergency preparedness manual

• Battery-operated radio and extra batteries

• Flashlight and extra batteries

• Cash or traveler's checks, change

• Non-electric can opener, utility knife

• Fire extinguisher: small canister ABC type

• Tube tent

• Pliers

• Tape

• Compass

• Matches in a waterproof container

• Aluminum foil

• Plastic storage containers

• Signal flare

• Paper, pencil

• Needles, thread

• Medicine dropper

• Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water

• Whistle

• Plastic sheeting

• Map of the area (for locating shelters)

Sanitation

• Toilet paper, towelettes

• Soap, liquid detergent

• Feminine supplies

• Personal hygiene items

• Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)

• Plastic bucket with tight lid

• Disinfectant

• Household chlorine bleach

Clothing and Bedding

•Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.

• Sturdy shoes or work boots

• Rain gear

• Blankets or sleeping bags

• Hat and gloves

• Thermal underwear

• Sunglasses

Special Items

• Remember family members with special requirements, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons

For Baby

• Formula

• Diapers

• Bottles

• Powdered milk

• Medications

For Adults

• People who need oxygen should make arrangements for additional portable bottles for use if power goes out.

• Heart and high blood pressure medication

• Insulin

• Prescription drugs

• Denture needs

• Contact lenses and supplies

• Extra eye glasses

Entertainment

• Games and books

Important Family Documents

• Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container:

o Will, insurance policies, contracts deeds, stocks and bonds

o Passports, social security cards, immunization records

o Bank account numbers

o Credit card account numbers and companies

• Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers

• Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)

• Store kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the supplies kit in the trunk of your car.

Why pipe freezing is a problem (Back to top)

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Also, pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

• 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.

• When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing because the temperature of the water running through it is above freezing.

• 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.

• If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55ºF.

To Thaw Frozen Pipes

If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Locate the suspected frozen area of the water pipe.

• Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt more ice in the pipe.

• Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, and electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device. A blowtorch can make water in a frozen pipe boil and cause the pipe to explode. All open flames in homes present a serious fire danger, as well as a severe risk of exposure to lethal carbon monoxide.

• Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.

• Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

Source www.redcross.org

Tips for Using Generators (Back to top)

• Do not connect generator directly to home wiring.

• Never plug a portable electric general into a regular household outlet. Connect individual appliance that have outdoor-rated power cords to receptacle outlet of the generator.

• Do not overload generator. Overloading a generator can damage appliances.

• Never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage. Generators emit deadly carbon monoxide.

• Make sure generator is grounded.

• Do not store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it is running.

• Turn off all equipment by generator before shutting down generator.

Source: Rogers Fire Department.

To report electrical outages (Back to top)

Ozarks Electric Cooperative, www.ozarkselectric.com, (800) 521-6322

Southwestern Electric Power Co., www.swepco.com, (888) 218-2919

Carroll Electric Cooperative, www.carrollecc.com (800) 432-9720

Bentonville Electric Department, (479) 271-5959

Siloam Springs Electric Department, (479) 524-4118

To report an emergency (Back to top)

Arkansas Western Gas Company (800) 252-9090

For Road Conditions (Back to top)

National Weather Service, www.nws.noaa.gov

Tulsa, Okla., Office (918) 832-4116 or (918) 838-7838

North Little Rock Office (501) 834-0308

Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department

www.arkansashighways.com/roads/roads.aspx

800-245-1672

Oklahoma Department of Public Safety

www.dps.state.ok.us/cgi-bin/weathermap.cgi

(405) 425-2385

Missouri Department of Transportation

www.modot.org/road_conditions/winterdrivingtips.htm

888-275-6636

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