Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mother Nature Gone Mad!

Mother Nature Gone Mad!
North Texans Urged to Prepare for Multiple Weather Events

At the end of what has already proven to be a busy disaster month, North Texans are urged once again to make plans for upcoming weather events including flash flooding and wintery weather.

Flooding is possible in the overnight hours and into the coming days. The following guidance should be followed should a Flash Flood Watch or Warning be issued:

When a flash flood WATCH is issued:

• Be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate on a moment’s notice
• Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors or levels of your home
• Fill up your car’s gas tank in case an evacuation order is issued
• Locate your family disaster supply kit and check that your batteries for your flashlight and radio are in proper working order

When a flash flood WARNING is issued:

• Listen to local radio and TV stations for information and advice. If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible.
• Evacuate immediately. You may only have seconds to escape. Act quickly!
• Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains.
• Do not drive around barricades. They are there for your safety.
• If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.

In the event that the rain turns to ice, the following tips serve as a reminder to be safe during the winter months:

• All heaters need space! Keep things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment, fireplaces and stoves.
• Place portable space heaters on a hard, level, nonflammable surface. Do not put space heaters on rugs or carpets, near bedding or drapes, and keep children and pets away. Look for a model that shuts off automatically if the space heater tips over. Do not use heating equipment to dry wet clothing.
• Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
• Never leave portable heaters, wood burning stoves or fireplaces unattended. Turn them off before leaving or going to bed.
• Keep the fire in the fireplace by using a glass or metal screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

Weathering the Storm
• Stay Hydrated – People may not realize that dehydration is as much a problem in cold weather as it is in hot, when fluid loss is more visibly apparent. Exertion, such as scraping ice, and dry, heated air can exacerbate the problem.
• Dress Appropriately – Stay inside; if you must go outside, several layers of lightweight clothing will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat. Gloves or mittens and a hat will prevent loss of body heat. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs.
• Be a Good Neighbor – Check on neighbors who are older, have disabilities or have several infants or young children in the home and might appreciate a little extra assistance during harsh weather.
• Avoid Travel – Be alert to changing weather conditions and avoid unnecessary travel.
Use Caution in the Event of a Power Outage
• Generator Safety – Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a generator during a power outage. Do not use generators inside.
• Food Storage and Safety – Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer during a power outage to keep food cold as long as possible. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold enough for at least a couple of hours. A freezer that is half full will hold for up to 24 hours – a full freezer for 48 hours.

Red Cross chapters throughout the affected region will continue to monitor conditions and remain on alert – ready to offer assistance such as a safe place to stay, a warm blanket and some food and water.

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