As the winter season approaches, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives are joining the N.C. Department of Public Safety and organizations across the state in encouraging residents to prepare for winter weather conditions. Winter Weather Preparedness Week is Dec. 4 – 10, and co-op members can take steps now to ensure they and their families are ready for whatever conditions the season may bring.
“The safety of our members, communities and cooperative employees is a top priority, and we encourage members to develop an emergency plan and take steps to prepare before a storm hits,” said Farris Leonard, director of job training & safety at North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives.
Cooperative members can access winter storm safety information, preparation resources and tips and see how electric cooperatives prepare for severe weather by visiting the NC Cooperative Storm Center, a joint effort of the state’s electric cooperatives and Carolina Country magazine.
North Carolina Emergency Management officials recommend the following preparedness tips:
- Keep fresh batteries on hand for weather radios and flashlights.
- Dress warmly. Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing.
- Properly vent kerosene heaters and ensure any electric generators are operated outside and away from open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Never burn charcoal indoors.
- Keep alternative heating sources and fire extinguishers on hand. Be sure your family knows how to use them.
- Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, sand/salt, blankets, flashlight, first-aid kit and road map.
- Make an emergency supplies kit for your pet and include medical records, first-aid kit, enough canned/dry food and water for three to seven days and pet travel bag or carrier.
- Do not leave pets outside for long periods of time.
- Ensure your pet has a well-fitting collar.
- Bring pets inside when temperatures drop below freezing.
- Move livestock and other animals to a sheltered location with food and water.
Winter weather conditions like ice accumulation and heavy snow can bring tree limbs into contact with power lines and cause outages. Electric cooperatives encourage members to connect with their local co-op for updates and resources prior to, during and after severe weather events.