What winter storm safety tips do you offer?

With the onset of winter, Christopher Baker, Director of Cattaraugus County Office of Emergency Services, reminds the public to prepare for severe weather conditions by following the steps outlined below:

Know what Winter Storm WATCHES and WARNINGS mean

  • A winter storm WATCH means a winter storm is possible in your area
  • A winter storm WARNING means a winter storm is headed for your area.
  • A Blizzard WARNING means strong winds, blinding wind-driven snow and dangerous wind chills are expected. 

When a Winter Storm WATCH is issued:

  • Stay indoors and dress warmly during the storm. To keep warm, it is better to wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing than one bulky sweater.
  • Listen to local radio, and TV stations for further updates
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel.
  • Drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Eat regularly. The body needs food as a source of energy to produce its own heat. 

When a Winter Storm WARNING is issued:

  •  Have safe emergency heating equipment available (wood fireplaces, portable space heaters or kerosene heater). If using kerosene heaters, be sure to maintain proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep all space heaters and kerosene heaters away from combustible materials such as bedding, furniture and curtains.
  • Listen to local radio or TV stations for updates.
  • Stay indoors during the storm, but if you must ... carry a winter storm survival kit. This kit should include a flashlight, jumper cables, sand or kitty litter for traction, ice scraper, snow brush, shovel, blankets, water, nonperishable food and first aid supplies.
  • Keep your car's gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Let someone know your destination, what route you are taking and when you plan to arrive so they can alery authorities if you do not get there.

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