Planning helps residents be winter weather ready

Take Winter By Storm – a campaign to help citizens get prepared before bad weather strikes – and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have joined forces to launch the annual preparedness campaign and urge citizens to take action.

“Citizens need to be weather ready, and can find the tools and tips they need at TakeWinterByStorm.org,” said Ted Buehner, warning coordination meteorologist with NOAA’s National Weather Service Seattle.

In past years that featured similar conditions, such as 2006 and 2009, the dry weather changed dramatically, bringing heavy rain, flooding, windstorms and snow. “The bottom line,” says Buehner, “citizens need to be ready in advance, and watch, listen and monitor weather forecasts. Don’t wait until the storm strikes to prepare – that’s too late!”

The Take Winter By Storm website, TakeWinterByStorm.org, is a one-stop emergency preparedness information hub that includes safety tips and regional resources related to high winds, heavy rain, snow, freezing conditions, power outages, flooding and more.

The public is encouraged to take the following actions in preparation to be storm ready:

Create an emergency preparedness kit with at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water for your home and office. Kits prepared for vehicle road travel and winter weather evacuation go-kits are also advised.

Make a plan and practice the plan with your family and those who depend on you.

Stay informed and monitor the weather approaching so you are prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws our way.

Visit TakeWinterByStorm.org for more information and helpful resources, such as a downloadable preparedness and maintenance checklists and emergency contact cards.

You can find Take Winter By Storm on TV, radio, the Internet, as well as on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter:
Facebook.com/TakeWinterByStorm
YouTube.com/TakeWinterByStorm
Twitter.com @WinterByStorm, #stormready, #winterprep

For more information on the Take Winter by Storm campaign:
Visit online: www.takewinterbystorm.org
Like on Facebook: Take Winter By Storm
Follow on Twitter: @WinterByStorm, #stormready, #winterprep
View on YouTube: Take Winter By Storm

The SeaTac Fire Department is also asking all residents to please consider the following fire and life safety tips to help ensure they have a safe and enjoyable winter:

Carbon Monoxide: (CO) is a colorless, almost odorless, and tasteless gas which is present during any type of burning. This includes wood stoves, gas furnaces, wood burning fireplaces, generators, and vehicle emissions. When inhaled, it depletes the oxygen supply in the blood stream. Symptoms of CO poisoning include lightheadedness, dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, seizures, decreased levels of consciousness, and in extreme cases, death.

Residents can be proactive and protect themselves by following these simple steps:
Have all CO producing devices in the home inspected by a professional.
Never bring barbeques or running generators into a home.
Purchase and install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home.
If you or someone in your home begins complaining of the symptoms listed above or your CO alarm activates, leave your residence immediately and call 9-1-1.

Smoke Alarms: Have working smoke alarms and know how to escape if they activate. Change the batteries annually and replace your smoke alarms every ten years.

Electric heaters: Ensure that all portable space heaters and baseboard heaters have at least three feet of clearance around them to prevent fires. Keep all combustibles such as curtains, bedding, and clothing away. Purchase heaters that have an auto-shutoff feature when tipped over and that have an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) rating.

Cooking: Whenever you are cooking, “keep an eye on what you fry.” Never leave the kitchen when cooking and always keep pan lids handy. If a pan catches on fire, simply place the matching lid on the pan while wearing an oven mitt. Once the lid is on, turn off the burner and call 9-1-1. To reduce injuries, create a “kid free” zone in front of your stove and oven.

Candles: During power outages candles are commonly used for decoration and light. Use them wisely. Place candles in a non-tipping base and set them where they cannot be easily knocked over by children, pets, or breezes. Always keep candles away from combustibles such as drapes, bedding and clothing. Lastly, “when you go out – blow it out.” Never leave candles burning when you leave the room.

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