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January 28, 2010 / Dave Gorham

The Ice Storm Cometh

 

I’m sure I’m the only one to think up “The ice storm cometh,” but as a major snow and ice storm takes aim on Oklahoma today and then moves eastward over the next 48-60 hours, I thought it appropriate and helpful to review some tips for best getting through an ice storm.

First, your meteorologists. They’ll bring you the latest information on the storm. Storm location and movement is key in such an event because just 10 miles can be the difference between rain, snow and ice. Frequent updates to the forecast may be necessary.

Next, have an emergency kit on hand. Ice storms are notorious for taking out the power grid for days, sometimes weeks. With that in mind, be prepared for at least several days of being without power. Your kit should include flashlights, batteries, first aid, Rx meds, blankets, warm clothes and a hand-crank radio.

Charge your cell phone before the power goes out. Have an extra charged battery on hand.

As with any power outage, unplug your electrical devices and turn off the main breaker. This will put less of a strain on the grid when power is restored and will protect your sensitive equipment from possible surges in power.

Fill your vehicles with gas so tanks are full. You should have a winter survival kit in your car.

Have extra propane tanks for outside cooking. Make sure generators are well ventilated and never run them in any kind of enclosed space.

Cash. ATMs and credit card swipers won’t work during power outages, so make sure your needs will be met with sufficient cash.

Stay off the roads. Your safety and the safety of others is paramount. Winter driving tips.

Additional tips for winter storm safety from the Red Cross.

We here at ImpactWeather bring as much preparation and technical expertise to our winter storm services as we do our hurricane services. We know an ice storm can have dramatic and widespread consequences with the end result of both storms being similar: thousands of business interruptions, millions (if not billions) of dollars in damage, and loss of life. For our friends and associates from New Mexico to the Mid-Atlantic, our thoughts are with you over the coming days and weeks.


Photo: MoDOT (Missouri Dept. of Trans).

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Watch on posterous

Thursday’s Special Edition “StormWatch Today” video from ImpactWeather on the Snow/Ice event.

 

 

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