Red Cross urges winter weather preparedness

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Updated: 2/25/2013 2:56 pm Published: 2/25/2013 2:53 pm

The Red Cross is urging caution and readiness for winter storms.

Areas north and west of Tulsa are expected to bear the brunt of the latest winter storm, but the Red Cross is encouraging anyone within the warning or advisory areas to prepare by having adequate supplies on-hand and taking appropriate precautions.

On the road:

If possible, avoid travel during the storm. This storm, in particular, is forecast to bring unusual blizzard conditions to Oklahoma. If you must travel:

•Carry an emergency preparedness kit in the trunk and include these items:

oFirst aid kit and essential medications

oExtra blankets, bedding or sleeping bags.

oWarm coats, mittens, hats and scarves for each member of the family.

oCanned food and can opener.

oThree gallons of water per person per day.

oBattery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries.

oSpecial items for infant, elderly or disabled family members, including must-have prescription medications.

oCell phone and chargers.

oExtra cash.

oPet supplies such as food, water, medication and toys.

oSmall shovel and sand.

•Keep the car's gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.

•If you’re traveling in ice or snow and become stuck, stay with the car. Do not try to walk to safety.

•Tie a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) to the antenna for rescuers to see.

•Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes won't back up in the car.

•Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running to help rescuers see the vehicle.

•Keep one window, away from the blowing wind, slightly open to let in air.

At home:

  • In the event of a power outage, use generators correctly – never operate a generator inside the home, including the basement or garage. Generators can create deadly carbon monoxide. Do not hook up a generator directly to the home's wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment needed 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, taking care to be sure hazardous chemicals and products are put out of children’s reach. Let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes.
  • Don’t forget family pets – bring them indoors. If that’s not possible, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they can get to unfrozen water.
  • Avoid using a stove or oven to heat the home. Keep a glass or metal fire screen around the fireplace and never leave a fireplace fire unattended.
  • If using a space heater, place it on a level, hard, nonflammable surface. Turn the space heater off when leaving the room or going to sleep. Keep children and pets away from the space heater and do not use it to dry wet clothing.
Out in the cold:
  • Dressing in several layers of lightweight clothing keeps someone warmer than a single heavy coat.
  • Mittens provide more warmth to the hands than gloves. Wear a hat, preferably one that covers the ears. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs.
  • Be alert to the signs of frostbite.
  • In snow or ice, wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep feet warm and dry and to maintain one’s footing.
Winter weather preparedness information is available at

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