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Local News

December 22, 2013

Red Cross offers ice-storm safety tips

PLATTSBURGH — The American Red Cross of Northeastern New York offers North Country residents tips to ensure their safety the ice storm this weekend.

“North Country residents are certainly accustomed to inclement weather,” Lynn Gilbert, North County Chapter executive director, said in a news release. “The Red Cross has volunteers on standby, and they are ready to mobilize if necessary.”

The Red Cross recommends assembling a winter-specific emergency preparedness kit with a warm coat, hat, gloves, water-resistant boots, extra blankets and extra warm clothing. The kit should also include first-aid supplies and medications, as well as canned food, a can opener, bottled water, flashlights, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries that can be used if a power outage occurs.

The organization said in the release to bring pets inside, keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage and keep the thermostat at same temperature around the clock.

Here are some general storm tips from the Red Cross:

▶ Listen to a the National Weather Service’s weather radio station or local news channels for information on conditions.

▶ Move non-companion animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles.

▶ Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.

▶ All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside.

▶ Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.

▶ By not turning heat down at night, you can prevent a costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.

▶ Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power or heat during periods of extreme cold.

▶ Avoid driving when conditions when there is sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.

▶ Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task.

▶ Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors if possible.

▶ Check on those who may need special assistance like elderly people living alone, those with disabilities and children.

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