Ice Storms -02721
Here we are at the height of Winter weather! Very often we have ice accumulate on branches, electrical wires, and other structures. If you need to go outside after ice has accumulated, pay attention to branches or wires that can collapse under the ice that has been accumulated. Stay on guard because large chunks of ice can fall from roofs.
Never touch electrical wires. A hanging wire can still be live with current and can electrocute you. Keep in mind that ice, branches, and electrical wires can continue to fall several hours after the precipitation ends and even start underground fires.
Remember that freezing rain, even in small quantities, can make roads very slippery. It is a good idea to avoid driving during freezing rain and for several hours after the storm, to allow maintenance teams time to spread sand and salt on the icy roads.
The quick onset of an ice storm, coupled with the risk of a blizzard increased the possibility of extreme hypothermia. If you have a farm, quickly shelter your animals and make sure to supply them with food. Often, during an ice storm and immediately after, feed is temporarily inaccessible. Animals’ reactions are similar during an ice storm and blizzards.
With a forecast threatening more freezing rain, and with a good deal of winter left to go, it's a good idea to prepare both your home and family for whatever may arise.
The following winter storm home-preparation suggestions may be helpful:
- Make sure flashlights and battery-powered radios are working, and keep extra batteries, candles, and matches on hand.
- Unplug sensitive appliances such as TV, VCR, computer, and microwave. If the power goes off, turn off all major electrical appliances.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. If you lose power, frozen food will generally keep for 48 hours. Discard perishable food that has been at 40 degrees for more than two hours. Odor or appearance is not an indicator that food is safe. When in doubt, throw it out.
- If you use an emergency-heating source such as a wood stove, kerosene heater or fireplace, keep fuels away from the flames and ventilate properly. Never leave a fire unattended.
- If it seems likely that your home will be without heat for several days, drain your water pipes.
If you use a generator, read all the instructions that accompany it and be aware of the hazards that come with misuse. Use a qualified electrician to connect a generator to the house wiring. Never run a gasoline-powered generator in the house-the fumes are deadly.
Since there is no way to prevent nature's winter storms, being prepared is your best defense:
- Create a family disaster plan and practice it regularly.
- Learn and teach others in your family how to turn off electricity, gas, and water.
- Store extra blankets and warm clothes where you can find them easily. Layer winter clothing to trap body heat.
- Keep emergency telephone numbers with you.
- Have a first aid kit on hand.
- Stock up on drinking water and canned or dried foods. Be sure to include a non-electric can opener with your supplies.
- Have at least a week's supply of prescription medications on hand.
- Fill your car with gasoline.
- Have cash available.
Even when the winter storm is over, keep a disaster supply kit assembled and replace food, water, and other time-sensitive items twice a year. Remember to replenish your kits when the clocks are reset in spring and fall. For other ways SERVPRO of Fall River can help you when you need it most, call us directly at 508-676-1900.