By Chase Rheam
STILLWATER, Okla. —
With the National Weather Service in Norman estimating nine inches of snow for Stillwater, residents are encouraged to take caution and prepare accordingly.
“Obviously the most important thing is that you are prepared in your home,” said Regional Director of Communications for the Central and Western Oklahoma Region of the American Red Cross Ken Garcia.
Garcia said residents should stock up on water to insure a three-day supply or one gallon per person as well as a three-day supply of nonperishable, easy-to-prepare food. Other items needed include a weather radio, first-aid kit, required medications, a flashlight and pet and baby supplies.
Warm clothing such as hats, boots and gloves are needed if going outside or if you should lose power to your home.
“When it comes to the car, I’m watching reports and that there are a lot of slide-offs happening,” Garcia said. “We recommend people don’t drive, but if they have to, make sure you have at least a full tank of gas, that way the car will keep going and keep you warm if you slide off the road. Keep blankets in your car, some snack items and some water because you don’t know how long you will be out there until help arrives.”
For those using a space heater, make sure it has plenty of room, he said.
“Keep them away from curtains,” Garcia said. “Keep them on a hard surface such as tile or a wood floor.”
If you leave the room, turn off the space heater.
During a heavy snow storm, information can be your best asset.
“Listen to a weather radio,” Garcia said. “Keep up to date with whatever information you can get.”
Remember to bring pets inside and be aware of potential freezing pipes and take preventative steps.
“Keep the thermostat set at the same temperature, that way it will help prevent your pipes from freezing,” Garcia said. “If you really want to prevent that, keep the water running at a slight trickle.”
Garcia said the Red Cross is ready should it be needed.
“The Red Cross is on standby and we have mobilized our fleet in case we need to respond, to open up shelters, to potentially help run any warming centers if needed,” Garcia said.
For more information, visit www.redcross.org.