CHICAGO – With a forecast threatening up to a quarter inch of ice across parts of the Great Lakes region today and northern Illinois under an ice storm warning for the first time in nearly 10 years, it's a good idea to prepare your home and family for whatever may arise, including the possibility of downed trees and power outages.
“Stay inside and off the roads unless absolutely necessary,” said FEMA Regional Administrator James K. Joseph. “Monitor local weather alerts and make sure everyone in your family knows what to do now to stay safe in the event of an extended power outage.”
• Stock up on essentials now. Include water, a first-aid kit, canned food, medications, blankets, and any other necessities specific to your family. If you have to drive, makes sure you have a fully stocked emergency kit for your car. You can find a disaster supply checklist at www.ready.gov/kit.
• Make sure flashlights and battery-powered radios are working and keep extra batteries on hand.
• Run portable generators outside, away from windows, and as far away as possible from your home.
• Charge cell phones before the storm and have a car charger on hand so if the power goes out, you can use your car as a supplementary power source to charge your phone.
• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed and set them at their coldest settings. Lowering the temperature before you lose power will allow you to maintain acceptable temperatures for food longer. Eat perishable foods first in case there is a long-term outage. For more information about food safety during a power outage, visit foodsafety.gov.
• Be cautious when you go outside after the storm. Downed or hanging electrical wires may be hidden and could be live. Never touch downed lines and keep children and pets away from them.
You can always find valuable information to help you prepare for winter emergencies at www.ready.gov/winter. Bookmark FEMA’s mobile site http://m.fema.gov or download the FEMA app today to have important readiness information just one click away.
Follow FEMA online at twitter.com/femaregion5, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Administrator Brock Long’s activities at @FEMA_Brock. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.
FEMA’s mission is to help people before, during, and after disasters.