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BISMARCK, N.D. – November 1 – 5, is Severe Winter Weather Awareness Week. After a hot summer, it’s time to prepare for the potential for severe winter weather. Winter storms including blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice and high winds. Preparing for winter will make traveling, holiday celebrations, and outdoor activities safer and more fun for you and your loved ones.
Staying Warm: Dress in loose-fitting layers of clothing. Layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing will keep you warmer than one bulky sweater. As it gets colder, two or three layers are recommended. Be sure skin is covered to avoid frostbite.
Emergency Kits: Include enough food, water, medications, and anything you typically use on a daily basis in your emergency kit to last for at least 72 hours.
Know before you go: Check the road conditions – change or delay travel plans when road conditions are not safe for travel. Call 511 or visit https://travel.dot.nd.gov/ for statewide road conditions. Be sure to take a travel emergency kit to include jumper cables, ice scraper, cell phone and charger as well as high energy snacks. When there’s ice and snow – take it slow! Slower speed, slower steering, and slower braking to avoid “locking your wheels.” Anti-lock brakes will prevent this from occurring.
Clear snow and ice from fire hydrants: The snow should be cleared to ground level, below all the caps, and 3 to 4 feet around the hydrant with a clear path to the street. There are over 4000 hydrants in the city of Bismarck and many of them can become inaccessible due to snow. Learn about the “Adopt-A-Hydrant” program: https://www.bismarcknd.gov/DocumentCenter/View/30747/Adopt-A-Hydrant-PDF?bidId=
Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Ensure your home has carbon monoxide detectors on each level and within 15 feet of sleeping areas. Don’t confuse carbon monoxide alarms with smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are critical for fire safety, but they do NOT detect carbon monoxide. Carbon Monoxide has no color and no odor. It is referred to as the “silent killer.” Learn more here: https://www.bismarcknd.gov/1278/Carbon-Monoxide-Alarms
Power Outage Safety: Winter Storms can cause power outages. Often times, these power outages will occur at the same time as a higher demand for power, such as during extreme cold. It’s important to be prepared for extended power outages at any time of year, but even more so during the winter. If using a generator, use it ONLY outdoors and away from windows (avoid carbon monoxide poisoning). Do NOT use a gas stove or oven to heat your home. Have alternate plans (ex: battery back-up) for any power-dependent medical devices or medicines requiring refrigeration.
“Consider taking these steps to stay safe before, during and after a winter storm. Be ready to protect your family from the dangers of winter weather by planning ahead,” said Gary Stockert, Bismarck Emergency Manager. For more information visit www.bismarcknd.gov.