OKLAHOMA CITY -- With winter weather in the forecast, The American Red Cross is urging residents to take steps now to be ready - and safer - when severe weather threatens.
In 2010, Oklahoma was heavily impacted by a snowstorm on Christmas Eve that stranded travelers. During this event and the following ice storm in January, Red Cross volunteers provided emergency shelter to those impacted by the storms.
As with any disaster, preparation can be the difference between life and death. The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for winter storms by:
Assembling an Winter Emergency Preparedness Kit that includes:
Preparing Your Home and Car: Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full, which will help to keep the fuel line from freezing. Make sure your home is properly insulated by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to help keep cold air out. Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year. Running water, even at a trickle, helps to prevent pipes from freezing.
Use generators correctly – never operate a generator inside the home, including the basement or garage. Generators can create deadly carbon monoxide. Do not hook up a generator directly to the home's wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment needed directly to the outlets on the generator.
If using a space heater, place it on a level, hard, nonflammable surface. Turn the space heater off when leaving the room or going to sleep. Keep children and pets away from the space heater and do not use it to dry wet clothing.
Plan for your pets. Don't forget family pets – bring them indoors. If that's not possible, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they can get to unfrozen water.
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