As we head into the weekend, millions of residents across portions of the southern Great Plains and into the Lower Ohio Valley are being or will be affected by a winter storm. As we’ve already seen from its impact earlier this week, this winter storm system has potential to produce moderate to heavy snow, significant ice accumulations and heavy rainfall. Not only does this storm present hazardous travel conditions, but there is potential for major and prolonged power outages in the greatest impact areas, due to ice loading on power lines and strong wind gusts.
At this time, there have been no requests for federal assistance; however we stand ready to support our state and local partners as needed. We will continue to closely follow the winter storm and will provide updates as necessary.
We encourage all residents in potentially affected areas to follow the direction of local officials and keep informed of local conditions by monitoring local radio or TV stations for updated weather and emergency information.
For those in affected areas remember, if local officials ask residents to stay off the roads, avoid travel unless it’s an emergency. If you must travel, make sure you have an emergency supply kit in the trunk, ensure your cell phone is charged, and inform a family member or friend of where you are going and the route you plan to take.
Here are some other tips to keep in mind:
- Ensure you have some basic emergency supplies. Water, batteries, flashlights, non-perishable food are a few examples of things that should be in your emergency supply kit.
- Check on your neighbors, especially those who are elderly or may live alone to make sure they’re OK.
- If you lose power, use flashlights for emergency lighting. NEVER use candles due to an increased risk of fire.
- Have a plan to stay warm should the power go out. Have extra blankets on hand or have an alternative place to go (if it’s safe to travel).
- Remember, if the power goes out, banks/ATMs may be offline for some time. Have cash on hand.
- If using a portable generator during a power outage, it should always be operated outside, away from doors and windows to avoid dangerous carbon monoxide.
Visit Ready.gov/winter for more winter weather safety tips and information.
Stay safe (and warm)!