While most of the snow and ice has melted from last week's winter storm, a new round of winter weather threatens the area. Weather experts predict that snow could impact a large swath of Tennessee again this week. For that reason, the Red Cross urges everyone to shelter in place and to be extra cautious if caught on icy roads.
Assembling Emergency Preparedness Kits:
- Pack winter-specific supply kits for both home and your vehicle that include a flashlight, first aid supplies, warm coat, hat, mittens or gloves, and water-resistant boots, along with blankets and extra warm clothing.
- Your home kit should have essential medications, canned food and can opener, bottled water, and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries in the event of a power outage.
- Sand or non-clumping kitty litter is good to have on hand in case your car is stuck and to help make walkways or steps less slippery.
Preparing Your Home and Car:
- Keep the gas tank full, which helps prevent the fuel line from freezing.
- Running water, even at a trickle, helps to prevent pipes from freezing.
- Do not use candles for lighting if the power goes out. Use flashlights only.
- Inspect fireplaces and wood stoves. Use a sturdy fire screen with lit fires. Burn only wood - never burn paper or pin boughs.
- If you plan on using an alternative heating source, never use a stove or oven to heat your home. Keep a glass or metal fire screen around the fireplace and never leave a fireplace fire unattended. If using a space heater, follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to safely use the heater. Place it on a level, hard, nonflammable surface. Turn the space heater off when you leave the room or go to sleep. Keep children and pets away from your space heater and do not use it t dry wet clothing.
- Use generators correctly - never operate a generator inside your home, including the basement or garage. Do not hook up a generator to your home's wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.
- Prevent frozen pipes - when the weather is very cold outside, open cabinet doors to let warm air circulate around water pipes. Let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Don't forget your pets - bring them indoors. If you can't bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they can get to unfrozen water.
- For additional advice on preparing for severe winter weather, please visit redcross.org.