TVF&R Offers Tips to See You Safely Through Winter Storms, Prepare yourself and your family

TVF&R Offers Tips to See You Safely Through Winter Storms, Prepare yourself and your family

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Winter storms can be dangerous, bringing heavy winds, freezing temperatures, power failures, as well as icy or flooded roads. Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue encourages you to prepare yourself and your family for winter storms by following these safety tips:

 

Indoor Safety

  • Have a professional perform annual inspections of your heating system and make any necessary repairs. If you have a fireplace, have the chimney inspected and cleaned annually.
  • Bring pets and smaller animals inside to keep them warm and dry.
  • Keep heating sources at least 3 feet away from materials that can burn, and never leave lit candles or other flames unattended.
  • Have a disaster supply kit with bedding, clothing, first-aid supplies, flashlights, food, a battery-operated radio, and water to be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours of any emergency. For more information on 72-hour kits, visit our website, www.tvfr.com.
  • Know the shut-off locations for your electricity, natural gas, and water.
  • During a power outage, turn off major appliances to reduce power demands when electricity is restored.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the home and test them often.

 

Outdoor Safety

  • Minimize outdoor activities whenever possible. If you must venture outdoors, dress appropriately for the weather conditions you may encounter and avoid getting wet to prevent hypothermia.
  • Don’t overestimate how far you can walk on extremely cold, rainy, or snowy days.
  • Use extreme caution when stepping outside in icy conditions, particularly in the morning when it’s coldest and the ice hasn’t had a chance to melt.
  • Insulate exposed water pipes with fiberglass or foam to protect them from freezing.
  • Report power outages to your electric company and NEVER touch a downed power line!
  • If you have pets or livestock that must be outside, provide a sheltered area and access to non-frozen drinking water.

 

Safety Behind the Wheel

  • Avoid traveling when the weather service issues storm advisories.
  • If you must drive, drive much slower than you would in ideal weather conditions.
  • Have your car inspected to ensure it’s in proper running condition. A breakdown during extreme weather can put you and your passengers in danger.
  • Replace worn tires, belts, leaking radiator hoses, and burned-out headlights and taillights.
  • Ensure your radiator has appropriate antifreeze for the conditions you will encounter.
  • Have an emergency kit in your car equipped with blankets, flashlights, snacks, tools, a shovel, and kitty litter or sand for traction in case of an unexpected delay or emergency.
  • Keep your gas tank more than half full. Should a power outage occur, you may have difficulty finding a service station that can fill your tank.
  • If you plan to travel in the mountains, carry the appropriate chains or traction devices required by law.

 

For more fire, life and holiday safety tips, visit www.tvfr.com.