Winter storms have been wreaking havoc in different parts of the country. Winter Storm Jupiter produced crippling ice storms in some parts of the Great Plains beginning on January 12. Several ice storm warnings were issued in areas of Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois. The winter storm turned into a crippling one, bringing power outages and widespread damage to trees and structures. Travel was disrupted along Interstates 40 and 44 in Oklahoma, the northern part of Texas, the southern part of Missouri and all across the Ohio River Valley.
The National Weather Service reported that Jupiter was the biggest single snowstorm in affected areas in almost 22 years. Winter storm watches were in effect in many areas of the west-central Plains and the Midwest.
In light of the winter storms that people are experiencing this season, it is important to be prepared for the emergencies of adverse weather. The National Safety Council recommends that people take the following general precautions to stay safe:
- Have a family communication plan – All members of the family should know how to contact one another in the event of an emergency. They should have easy access to all family phone numbers. If possible, designate a family member or friend who lives out of town or out of state as the key contact person.
- Prepare emergency kits – These should be kept at home and in the car. The home kit should contain at least a three-day supply of food and water.
- Safely store important documents – Documents such as birth certificates, bank deposits, insurance policies, and passports should be kept in a safety deposit box or a fire-proof safe at home.
- Know lifesaving techniques – Assign at least one member of the family to be familiar with first aid and CPR.
- Shut off utilities – If you need to shut down your utilities, it’s imperative to know where the valves are. Get smart on their locations in case you need to turn them off in a hurry.
Disaster can strike when we least expect it, but we don’t have to be stressed or worried about unforeseen problems if we are prepared.