Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

January 4, 2014

Hoosiers should prepare for arctic blast


Greensburg Daily News

---- — INDIANAPOLIS – Another round of significant snowfall could potentially hit central and southern Indiana on Sunday, followed by extremely cold temperatures that will affect the entire state. State agencies are advising Hoosiers to prepare now for the frigid weather.

Have a Plan

Hoosiers can take the time now to develop a plan for a potential power outage. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) recommends citizens look up their electric utility’s outage reporting phone number and add it to their cell phone contact list.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) recommends every household have an emergency preparedness kit. Essential supplies to gather ahead of time in case utilities are disrupted:

Food and water for three days (includes three gallons of water per person, per day)

Battery operated or hand crank all hazards radio

Flashlight

Extra batteries for radio and flashlight

Extra clothing, warm blankets, sleeping bags for staying warm in your home if you lose power

Special items (baby formula, insulin, medications)

Families should also take the time to check with neighbors and see if there’s anything they can do for each other before, during or after the storm.

Travel

With the potential for additional snow, Hoosiers should carefully consider if travel is necessary. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) will continue to monitor forecasts for the storm beginning Saturday night and deploy the needed personnel, equipment and materials ahead of any predicted accumulation. Motorists are encouraged to avoid travel during and after the storm as high winds are expected to reduce visibility for drivers.

Temperatures well below freezing are expected to follow the storm, reducing the effectiveness of road salt in melting the snow and ice. INDOT will be treating the salt with specialty chemicals.

Before heading out, residents should check the Indiana County Travel Advisory Map at http://www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory/. It’s updated with information from the county emergency management agencies and describes the conditions for a travel warning, watch, advisory and caution.

For road updates, please visit http://indot.carsprogram.org or call 800-261-ROAD. DO NOT call local law enforcement or 9-1-1 for road information. These lines need to be left open for emergency calls.

Indiana State Police (ISP) encourage drivers to delay a trip if possible, but if travel is necessary, let someone know your route, expected time of arrival, and how to reach you. Charge your cell phone before leaving. Pack essential items such as high protein snacks, water, first aid kit, flashlight, warm blankets, extra prescription medications and important documents or information you might need during an emergency.

If you become stranded, do not leave the car unless there is shelter nearby. Call for help. If you don’t have a cell phone, tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna for rescuers to see.

Run the engine for 10 minutes every hour to stay warm and keep the exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Extreme Cold

Subzero temperatures and strong winds will create a potentially dangerous situation Sunday through Tuesday. Wind chills could reach -30 degrees or lower. Hoosiers should limit their exposure by staying indoors. If you must go outside, make it as brief as possible. Wear several layers of loose-fitting clothing, and cover any exposed skin with a hat, scarf, and gloves.

The Indiana Board of Animal Health (BOAH) reminds pet owners to be especially sensitive to their animals’ limits when outside. Most pets cannot tolerate more than 20 minutes outside when the temperature drops below zero. Be sure to provide a sheltered place for outdoor pets and make sure they have fresh water. Use a heater for water or change the supply frequently.

– Daily News