Prepare for Winter Weather


Red Cross Urges Families to Prepare Now for this Weekend’s Winter Weather
(Omaha, Neb., February 2, 2012)
– With significant winter weather predicted to move across the state this weekend the Nebraska/SW Iowa Region of the American Red Cross is urging residents to take steps now to stay safe when severe weather threatens.
“We have the power to make our families safer and our communities stronger,” said Tina Labellarte, Region CEO. “We can help you and your family create a disaster preparedness plan now, before our community is threatened by dangerously low temperatures, snow, ice and strong winds.”
Labellarte urged those planning travel to re-consider their options, stick to main roads if travel is unavoidable, and not to hesitate to “pull over” and seek shelter in the many hotels and motels along the interstate corridor. “Our Red Cross volunteers who have surveyed motel operators report there are vacancies at this time, but that situation can change quickly as predicted blizzard conditions occur,” Labellarte said.
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 Emergency Preparedness Kit: Pack a winter-specific supply kit that includes a warm coat, hat, mittens or gloves, and water-resistant boots, along with extra blankets and extra warm clothing. Sand or non-clumping kitty litter is good to have on hand to help make walkways or steps less slippery. Additionally, make sure you have a first aid kit and essential medications, canned food and can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries in your home in the event of a power outage.
•             Heeding Storm Warnings: A winter storm WATCH means winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions via NOAA Weather radio, or local radio or television stations. A winter storm WARNING means that life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. Individuals in a warning area should take precautions immediately.
•             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.
For more information on winter storm preparedness, contact the Nebraska/SW Iowa Region of the American Red Cross at 402-343-7700 visit http://www.redcross.org <http://www.redcross.org>  or http://www.cruzrojaamericana.org <http://www.cruzrojaamericana.org>  or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. We urge you to share these Red Cross winter storm preparedness tips with every member of your household, because the best protection is to be prepared ahead of time.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit http://www.redcross.org <http://www.redcross.org>  or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Danelle Schlegelmilch
Communications Director
American Red Cross
Nebraska/SW Iowa Region
2912 S. 80th Ave.
Omaha, NE 68124
(402) 343-7762 (p)
(402) 689-3683 (c)
(402) 343-7777 (f)

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