November 22, 2011
The National Weather Service in Burlington has issued a winter storm advisory for most areas of Vermont for Tuesday night into Wednesday night. A mix of rain, snow, sleet, and freezing rain are expected to fall throughout Vermont starting late Tuesday and continuing throughout Wednesday.
The mixture of wet snow and ice could make driving conditions hazardous and have the potential to cause isolated power outages. The Vermont Department of Public Safety urges Vermonters to prepare for these adverse conditions, and the conditions winter generally offers us.
General safety tips:
• The elderly and those with special needs should contact their power company and local emergency officials to alert them of those needs in the event of a power outage.
• Have some extra batteries, flashlights, water, canned food, and other items on hand in the event you are stranded in your home for an extended period.
• Purchase a battery-powered radio or NOAA weather radio to listen for advisories.
• Keep your gas tank and your home heating tank full of fuel.
• If you lose power and use a generator – it must only be used OUTDOORS. Ensure your generator exhaust is not entering your home through windows or fresh air vents.
• It is critical as snow piles up to ensure all outside heating vents are clear of snow. A blocked vent can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in the home and CO poisoning. Prolonged carbon monoxide exposure can be fatal, so it is imperative that vents be cleared. Take a close look at direct vents that are located lower down on walls.
• Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms installed in the vicinity of any bedrooms and on each level your home.
• Check road and weather conditions before leaving your home.
• Avoid traveling unless necessary and always allow yourself extra time to get to your destination.
• Make sure your vehicle is in good mechanical condition with snow tires and winter windshield wiper blades.
• Watch for and expect changing road conditions, black ice, blowing snow, high winds or whiteout conditions can appear when you least expect them to
• The single most important rule is to drive at a speed that matches the prevailing visibility, traffic and road conditions. The posted speed limits are for dry, clear conditions only
• Be sure to leave yourself plenty of extra room, extend the following distance from other vehicles ahead.
• If your car doesn't make it to your destination, pull as far off the road as possible, to minimize any further traffic hazards, and stay in the car. Even a short walk in winter storm conditions can be dangerous. Make sure your exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow; if it is turn off your car. If you have any doubt – turn off your car.
• Carry a cell phone and use 911 in case of an emergency, but do not become over dependant on a cell phone.
For more please visit http://vem.vermont.gov/preparedness.
Mark Bosma, Vermont Emergency Management, 800-347-0488
Michael Greenia, Vermont Division of Fire Safety, 802-479-7587
Source: Department of Public Safety
Last Updated at: November 22, 2011 11:40:02