Tag Archives: winter storms

  • The South Prepares for Huge Winter Storms

    Tweets show how the South is prepping for severe winter storms

    According to Accuweather.com, “A snow and ice storm will severely impact travelers and residents from northern Georgia to the Carolinas into Wednesday night.” This storm is even expected to stretch into Virginia and parts of Tennessee. It’s been reported that this could be one of the worst ice storms for parts of the South in more than 10 years.

    Recently the South has experienced massive ice and snow storms, uncharacteristic to the region. Two weeks ago, Atlanta, Ga. was hit hard by an expected storm that stranded thousands on the road overnight. Now, many residents are vowing not to get caught off guard again.

    Tweets show the South prepping for severe winter storms

    Lisa Nadir, a resident of Acworth, Ga., stated in a My Fox New York article, "Last time I was totally unprepared, I was completely blindsided….I'm going to be prepared from now on for the rest of my life."  Nadir sat in traffic for 13 hours and spent the night in her car on Jan. 28th when the first major storm hit.

    Like Nadir, many Georgia residents are preparing for this big, new storm. Wednesday afternoon, the business sector of downtown Atlanta was found deserted as many residents stayed home. Reluctant to experience a similar traffic jam as they saw two weeks ago, these residents are making a change to avoid being caught on gridlocked roads for hours.

    Tweets show the South prepping for severe winter storms

    On Wednesday morning, over 2,000 flights coming in and out of Atlanta International Airport were cancelled. And there are several images on Twitter from the New York Times and the Weather Channel showing grocery store shelves that have been practically picked clean as people stock up for the storm.

    Tweets show the South prepping for severe winter storms

    Tweets show the South prepping for severe winter storms

    Two major concerns with this storm are icy roadways and power outages. Freezing rain, sleet, and snow could (once again) leave many stranded on the road. And the weight of ice on tree limbs could cause them to fall onto power lines, creating widespread power outages.

    Take some cues from the spirit of preparation that many in Atlanta now have; prepare yourselves for winter storms with the following articles and products:

    Sources

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/ice-storm-begins-to-unfold-in/23186487

    http://www.myfoxny.com/story/24688333/with-dire-storm-forecast-many-in-ga-stay-home

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: storms, disaster preparedness, South, winter weather, winter preparedness, emergency preparedness, Survival, preparedness, Winter, winter storms

  • Be Ready for the Unexpected

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    Be Ready for the Unexpected

    How many times have you read about an emergency or natural disaster and thought “that wouldn’t happen in my area”?

    This type of thinking leads many people to believe they only need emergency kits and emergency plans for major disasters. However, we also need to prepare for smaller, unexpected emergencies that sometimes occur more often.

    Stories from the past few months have taught us two valuable lessons:

    1. Mother Nature doesn’t follow rules; the unexpected can happen to anyone.
    2. Even the smallest of events can become larger disasters due to poor planning and lack of preparation.

     

    Prepare for Winter Weather—Even if it’s Unlikely

    At the beginning of December, unexpected snow storms and freezing temperatures stranded over 300 people for 7+ hours on a stretch of Interstate 15 between the Utah/Las Vegas border.

    Freezing temperatures and snow are rare in the area, so many travelers were unprepared. They had little food or water, few items to keep warm (many only had clothing for a day at the pool), and only a little gas in their tanks. What’s typically considered an hour’s drive quickly became an unexpected emergency. Luckily there were no major injuries reported.

    In January, many parts of the U.S. experienced another unexpected phenomenon that was dubbed a Polar Vortex. As we learned from WeatherChannel.com meterologist, Nice Wiltgen, the term ‘artic outbreak’ is a more accurate term than ‘polar vortex’ to describe the dramatic cooling effect the Midwestern and eastern portions of the U.S. are currently experiencing. So this Polar Vortex is a new name for an ancient phenomenon, causing cities that usually don’t see below freezing temperatures to see record-breaking lows and snowfall.

    The so-called Polar Vortex altered the everyday lives of thousands: several areas faced school closures, blackouts, flooding from frozen pipes, injuries, and deaths even occurred.

    While it may have been hard to predict the impact storm near Las Vegas or of the Polar Vortex, these events illustrate the need to prepare and plan for winter emergencies (even if you live in the South).

    What can we learn from these emergencies?

    If you are adequately prepared, unexpected emergencies will be less likely to turn your life upside down. The Ready Campaign suggests these three steps to prepare for any emergency you might face:

    1. Make a plan: Make a plan with your family for a number of situations—big and small. You can plan for house fires, power outages, and even major disasters like earthquakes. Don’t forget to plan for unique situations for your area and climate, as well.
    2. Build a Kit: Based on your planning, build or purchase emergency kits for your home, car, workplace, and school. These kits should fit the personal needs of your family. Also, you should always have a car emergency kit—especially while traveling
    3. Stay informed: Learn from the experience of others. Plan for unexpected emergencies before they happen, stay informed on weather conditions in your area, and adapt your emergency kits for situations like the ones mentioned in this post. Don’t slip into the thought process of “it won’t happen to me”.

    It’s important to prepare for unexpected emergencies. Good planning and preparation can help us avoid minor annoyances or major health concerns in crisis situations. As you plan for possible emergencies, avoid the mentality of “that won’t happen” and change it to “whatever happens, I’ll be ready.”

    --Rob

    Have you ever been stuck in an unexpected emergency or snowstorm? What did you do? What do you wish you had? 

    Sources:

    BePrepared.com/Blog

    CNN Article: "The Polar Vortex Leaves Nasty Surprises, Still Grips northern midwest"  

    KSL News article: "Motorists trapped by snowstorm on Arizona Strip"

    Preparedness Pantry Blog: "The Polar Vortex--What are the Consequences?"

    BeReady.gov: “Make a Plan. Get a Kit. Be Informed” 

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: emergency preparedness, Emergency plan, emergency kit, winter storms

  • Can you brave the winter storms?

    Thousands of commuters in the South were stranded en route Tuesday and into Wednesday because of  snowy conditions during an unexpected winter storm. 

    Many spent 10-12 hours in their vehicles, trying to conserve gas, power, and warmth. Others took shelter with nearby strangers, who generously opened their homes; and some (like the 5,300 students in Alabama) were even forced to camp out in school buildings or sleep the night in buses.

    CNN reported the panic that spread when what was supposed to be a light dusting of snow turned to chaos. A thin sheet of ice and 3-10 inches of snow on the roads (depending on location) left thousands of people stranded in their vehicles during their commute home.

    As one woman went into labor, she set off for the hospital only to find gridlock after gridlock blocked her path. She called the paramedics, but they, too, had no clear route to reach her car through the disorder that Tuesday’s winter storm blew in, leaving her stranded on the road.

    The weather was also a factor in over 1,000 fender benders, five deaths in Alabama, and another 23 injuries.

    The traffic problems began when schools, businesses, and government offices sent people home at the exact same time due to the weather.

    According to Yahoo! News, “as people waited in gridlock, the snow [built up], the roads froze, cars ran out of gas and tractor-trailers jackknifed, blocking equipment that could have treated some of the roads.”

    Winter storms catch the South by surprise

    The desperate situation brought many people together to help stranded motorists. Residents near the highway opened their homes to strangers who needed food, water, and a warm place to stay. Others offered their services, as well, including a police officer who helped deliver a daughter to the pregnant woman stranded in her car.

    "There was a sense that we are all in this together,” said Mira Lowe, a CNN editor who watched as people left their vehicles to help others.

    Check out stories from other stranded drivers here

    Read the rest of CNN’s article “Atlanta mayor blames poor coordination for storm snafu
    Read Yahoo! News’ article “Helicopters search for stranded Southern drivers

    Do you know what to do in a snow and ice storm? Having a car emergency kit can definitely help by giving you food, water, warmth, and other needed supplies.

    Check out these articles for more ways you can stay safe in the cold:
    Emergency Warmth
    Stuck in the Snow? How’s your Emergency Car Kit?
    How to Winterize your Car

     

    Video Courtesy of CNN
    Photo Courtesy of Yahoo! News

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: South, winter preparedness, natural disaster, emergency preparedness, Survival, emergency kit, Winter, winter storms

  • Staying Warm without Electricity

    Just over one week after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, snow from a nor’easter—a hurricane-like storm known to cause coastal flooding, coastal erosion, hurricane-force winds, and/or blizzard conditions—is delaying recovery efforts. In some areas of the region, the nor’easter has knocked out power where Sandy didn’t, leaving more residents without electricity to heat their homes.

    Ice storms and heavy snow can be powerful enough to knock out power in many parts of the country. These blackouts can last hours or days. Luckily, there are space heaters available that can keep us warm at home, work, school, or other types of shelter without electricity.
     Propane heaters made by Mr.Heater® can run safely indoors when operated according to manufacturer directions. These innovative space heaters use either disposable 1 lb. propane cylinders (like those used for camp stoves or lanterns) or 20 lb. cylinders (like those used for barbecue grills). They also have safety features that include tip-over and low oxygen shut-off switches. Here are some models we recommend for winter emergencies:


    - Heats up to 400 square feet
    - Perfect for large areas like great rooms, living rooms, studio apartments, offices, or shelters.  
    - Depending on temperature setting, operates for approx.:
                -1.5 to 6 hrs. on one 1lb cylinder
                -3 to 12 hrs. on two 1lb. cylinders
                -25 to 110 hrs. on one 20lb. cylinder
                -50 to 220 hrs. on two 20 lb. cylinders
    - Low, medium, and high settings
    - Free standing or wall mount
    - Easy to carry
    - Battery or AC adapter operated blower fan
    - Tip-over and low-oxygen shut-off safety switches

     
    - Heats up to 200 square feet
    - Great for medium-sized areas like living rooms or offices 
    - Depending on temperature setting, operates for approx.:
                -3 to 6 hrs. on one 1lb cylinder
                -48 to 110 hrs. on one 20lb. cylinder
    - Low and high settings
    - Fold-down handle for compact storage
    - Tip-over and low-oxygen shut-off safety switches


    - Heats up to 100 square feet
    - Powerful enough to heat smaller rooms or offices 
    - Operates for approx. 5.5 hrs. on one 1lb cylinder
    - Compact and portable
    - Tip-over and low-oxygen shut-off safety switches

    Whether you live in a large house or a small apartment, these heaters can keep you warm when the power goes out. See more Mr. Heater products at BePrepared.com.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: power outages, winter storms, warmth