Weatherford Democrat

December 11, 2007

Emergency safety checklist saves lives in wintry weather


Special to the Democrat

AUSTIN — Today is Severe Winter Weather Awareness Day in Texas. Take this opportunity to get prepared for severe winter storms.

Severe winter storms can strand motorists traveling northern routes in Texas, sometimes striking in South Texas and even coastal areas. Monitor NOAA Weather Radio or your local station when severe winter storms are threatening.

About 70 percent of snow and ice related deaths occur in automobiles. If you must travel when winter storms threaten, keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines and don’t travel alone.

The survival kit for vehicles includes:

n Blankets/sleeping bags.

n Radio, flashlight, extra batteries, booster cables.

n First-aid kit.

n High-calorie, non-perishable food and bottled water.

n Extra clothing, including mittens and hat.

n Sack of sand or cat litter for de-icing roadway.

n Windshield scraper and brush.

n Tool kit, tow rope and shovel.

n Cell phone or two-way radio.



Be prepared at home or work with these additional supplies in case heavy ice on the lines cuts electricity and phone service — or your heat source is cut off for several days:

n Battery-powered NOAA weather radio, extra batteries.

n Extra medicine, medical supplies and items needed by babies or the elderly.

n Heating fuel for areas where fuel carriers may not be able to get through.

n Properly ventilated emergency heating source such as a fireplace, wood stove or space heater.

n Fire extinguisher and smoke detector.

n Extra food and water.

For more severe winter weather information, see www.nws.noaa.gov.

Other disaster preparedness resources can be found at: www.Ready.gov and www.redcross.org.