Noble, OK 73068
Winter Weather SafetyHome » Departments » Public Safety » Emergency Management » Winter Weather Safety
When temperatures drop significantly below normal, staying safe and warm can become challenging. These cold temperatures may mean you will have to cope with power failures and icy roads. Although staying indoors can greatly reduce the risk of car crashes and falls on the ice, there may be hazards indoors. For many, homes will become too cold - due to power outages or because the heating system is inadequate for the cold weather. When people must use fireplaces and space heaters to stay warm, the risk of house fires increases along with the risk of carbon minoxide poisoning. The emergency procedures here are not a substitute to training, however, they will help you know when to seek medical care and what to do until help becomes available.
Preparing for a Winter Storm
Protect Your Property
- Install and check/replace batteries in smoke alarms.
- Make sure your home is properly insulated. If necessary, insulate walls and attic. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills.
- Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
- To keep pipes from freezing, wrap them in insulation or layers of old newspapers. Cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture.
- Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing.
- Stock up on food, water, medicines and heating fuel.
- Secure back-up heating sources, such as kerosene heaters or firewood for fireplaces. Never use charcoal, gas or propane heaters indoors.
- Buy bags of rock salt and sand for use on icy walkways.
- Know how to shut off water valves.
- Conserve unused heat by shutting off rooms that are not being used.
- Have your car winterized before winter storm season.
** If you have a generator, take the time to complete any required maintenance. Before using the generator, make sure you follow instructions from a licensed electrician to include proper ventilation to avoid carbon minoxide poisoning.
During and after a Winter Storm
If You Must go Out During a winter Storm:
- Wear several layers of clothing and a hat outdoors. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
- Don't overexert yourself while shoveling snow. Stretch your muscles before working out in the snow. This will reduce chances of muscle injury.
- Watch for signs of frostbite: loss of feeling along with paleness in tip of nose, fingers, earlobes and toes.
- Beware of hypothermia. Signs include uncontrollable shivering, slurred speech, drowsiness, memory loss and disorientation.
- Avoid driving at night or alone. Notify others of your schedule and route.
If Your Vehicle is Stranded in a Blizzard
- Make sure you have plenty of fuel; a good rule of thumb is to keep your fuel tank at least half full.
- Bring your cell phone with you with an emergency assistance number. (In Case of an Emergency, you can call the Oklahoma Highway Patrol at *55 or 911)
- Pull off the road and turn on your hazard lights
- Do not start walking unless you can see a building where you can take shelter.
- If no buildings are in sight, stay in your vehicle where rescuers are more likely to find you.
- Wrap yourself in blankets, or use seat covers, floor mats and maps.
- Run the engine for ten (10) minutes each hour to keep warm. Open a window slightly for ventilation.
- Balance the use of heater and lights to conserve the battery.
- Remember that bridges and ramps will be the first to freeze.
Make sure your Winter Storm Disaster Supply Kit for your vehicle includes:
- A cell phone with extra battery or two-way radio
- Windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal
- Several blankets or sleeping bags
- Rain gear and extra sets of dry clothing, mittens, socka and a cap
- Non-perishable snacks like: canned fruit, nuts and other high energy "munchies". Include non-electric can opener if necessary.
- Several bottles of water. Eating snow will lower your body temperature. If necessary, melt it first.
- A sack of sand or kitty litter for generating traction under wheels and a set of tire chains or traction mats.
- Jumper Cables
- A first aid kit
- A flashlight with extra batteries
- A brightly colored cloth to tie to the antenna if you get stranded.
Know Your Winter Weather Terms!
Freezing Rain: Rain that freezes on contact with roads, trees, sidewalks, etc.
Sleet: Rain that freezes before hitting the ground
Winter Storm Watch: A winter storm is possible in the area.
Blizzard Warning: Winds or gusts 35 mph or greater, along with snow, are expected to last 3 hours or more.
Winter Storm Warning: A winter storm is occuurring or will begin soon.
Front/Freeze Warning: Temperatures are expected to drop below freezing.
Print off these helpful checklists from the CDC to help you better prepare for a storm!
Checklists for your home here
Copy of the City of Noble's Snow Route Map follows