Archive for December 27th, 2012

Snowstorm VT. Emergency Management Release

From the Vermont Emergency Management folks in Waterbury, issued Thursday afternoon:

WATERBURY, VT— Heavy snow continues to fall throughout all areas of Vermont. At this time, no road closures have been reported and only minor storm-related power outages have been reported.

The National Weather Service continues the Winter Storm Warning for all of Vermont for today and into tomorrow as more snowfall is expected. These conditions will continue to make driving difficult.

The Vermont State Police recommend the following safety tips for winter weather driving:

Before you travel
· Avoid traveling unless necessary and always allow yourself extra time to get to your destination.
· Check road and weather conditions before leaving.
· Make sure your vehicle is in good mechanical condition with snow tires and winter windshield wiper blades.

On the Road
· Watch for and expect changing road conditions, black ice, blowing snow, high winds or whiteout conditions can appear when you least expect them to.
· The single most important rule is to drive at a speed that matches the prevailing visibility, traffic and road conditions. The posted speed limits are for dry, clear conditions only.
· Be sure to leave yourself plenty of extra room, extend the following distance from other vehicles ahead.
· If your car doesn’t make it to your destination, pull as far off the road as possible, to minimize any further traffic hazards, and stay in the car. Even a short walk in winter storm conditions can be dangerous.
· Carry a cell phone and use 911 in case of an emergency, but do not become over dependent on a cell phone.

The Vermont Division of Fire Safety reminds homeowners to think safety first by:

· Making sure your home is protected with working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

· With a large amount snow, to check the vents for your heating system to make sure they are not blocked by snow especially direct vents that are located on lower walls. A blocked vent can lead to Carbon Monoxide backing up into your home.

· Make use of safe practices when using gasoline-powered generators or alternative heating units during winter weather-related power outages. CO that is produced from these units can kill in minutes. Consumers should never use a generator, charcoal or gas grill inside of a building.

· Make sure that all emergency exits and outside stairs or fire escapes are clear of ice and snow.

· Store fireplace or wood stove ashes in a fire resistant container and cover it with a lid and keep the container outdoors, away from your home and other combustibles.

· Homeowners are also advised to monitor snow buildup on roofs of their home and any other external building like sheds and barns to avoid a collapse.

Vermont Emergency Management & Homeland Security encourages the elderly and those with special needs to contact their local power company and local community officials to alert them of those needs in the event of a power outage. EMHS also encourages everyone to check in on the elderly or those with special needs throughout the storm, and to assist those in need with snow removal.

Any towns that may need assistance during the storm are encouraged to call Vermont Emergency Management & Homeland Security’s Emergency Operations Center at 800-347-0488.