Winter Weather Preparedness
With winter weather comes the need to prepare your home, automobile and family to deal with the colder temperatures, as well as the possibility for snow and ice. Before traveling make sure to prepare your vehicle. Packing blankets, emergency food and water, flashlights, a radio and cell phone with extra batteries will help you and your family, should you become stranded because of the weather.
Always heed the warnings of law enforcement and transportation officials regarding road conditions and refrain from traveling when road conditions warrant. If you must travel during a snow or ice event, allow extra time to reach your destination, and make sure you have plenty of fuel. Be particularly cautious on bridges and overpasses as they will be the first to freeze. Also, stay back at least 200 feet behind salt and sand equipment in order to stay safe.
Stay informed regarding hazardous winter weather conditions on NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio and on local radio and television stations. Sign up now to receive OEM's weather alerts and receive National Weather Service (NWS) watches and warnings direct to your cell phone or other email address at https://www.ok.gov/OEM/.
Below are some additional winter weather preparedness tips. For more information on how to cope with winter weather, contact your local emergency manager.
Protect Your Home:
- Install and check/replace batteries in smoke alarms.
- To keep pipes from freezing, wrap them in insulation or layers of old newspapers (Cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture)
- Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing.
- Open cabinet doors below sinks
- more information about protecting your pipes in winter.
- Keep safe emergency-heating equipment. Always be cautious in using a portable space heater and never leave the heater on when you are not in the room or when you go to bed.
- Know what winter storm and blizzard watches and warnings mean.
- An NWS Winter Storm watch is a message indicating that conditions are favorable to a winter storm.
- An NWS warning indicates that a winter storm is occurring or is imminent.
- A blizzard warning means sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 mph or greater and considerable falling or blowing snow are expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer.
- Depend on a reliable weather information source (the Internet, NOAA Weather All Hazards Radio, local television and radio stations) for the latest weather information.
Our Employees and On -Site Teams
- If you live in a community managed by TMC Property Management that has onsite management and maintenance please be advised:
- The offices may be closed during winter storms, and our employees may or may not be able to serve you remotely.
- If you do have an emergency work order, our teams will make every attempt to try and assist you, or reach out to local vendors if they are unable. Please be mindful that if they cannot get to you during a storm, you may need to have an alternative plan for emergency back-up access to food and shelter.
- Should you experience a power outage in your area, please be aware that the office staff are unable to assist. Please stay informed by local city authorities and service personnel on current power outages.
- Should phone and internet lines fail, please be aware you may not be able to contact your on-site team. We will stay informed and proactive in finding solutions and ways to communicate with our residents.
Plan for a Winter Storm:
- Develop a Family Disaster Plan for winter storms. Discuss with your family what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued. Everyone should know what to do in case all family members are not together when a winter storm hits.
- Understand the hazards of wind chill. A strong wind combined with a temperature of just below freezing can have the same effect as a still air temperature of 35 degrees or colder.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors, especially the elderly. Make sure they are prepared.
- Don't forget about the pets. Make sure they have good food and water supplies and a place to seek shelter.
- Have your car winterized by checking antifreeze, washer blades, tire pressure, etc.
Extreme Cold Exposure
Prolonged exposure to the cold can cause frostbite, hypothermia, or in extreme cases, death. Infants and the elderly are most susceptible to extreme cold. Frostbite occurs when the skin becomes cold enough to actually freeze. A loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, or the nose are symptoms of frostbite. Hypothermia (low body temperature) can occur during longer periods of exposure when the body temperature drops below 95 F. A person will become disoriented, confused, and shiver uncontrollably, eventually leading to drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. In severe cases, death is possible. The following tips can help decrease the risk of cold exposure:
- Wear layered clothing outdoors for better protection from the cold. Wear a cap to prevent rapid heat loss from an uncovered head. Cover exposed skin to prevent frostbite.
- While indoors, try to keep at least one room heated to 70 F. This is especially important for the elderly and small children to prevent hypothermia.
- Sleep warm with extra blankets, a warm cap, socks and layered clothing.
- Avoid fatigue and exhaustion during cold weather. Overexertion, such as shoveling snow or pushing a car, can strain your heart.
- Carry extra clothing, blankets and high energy snacks, such as cereal or candy bars in your car for protection if car stalls. Keep the gas tank near full to prevent icing.
- Check daily on elderly friends, relatives and neighbors who live alone.
- The elderly and very young should stay indoors as much as possible. Offer to shop for elderly friends and relatives. Just like in the summer with heat, it takes some time to get acclimated to cold weather.
If You Must Go Out During a Winter Storm:
The best way to stay safe in a snowstorm is not to be out in it. Long periods of exposure to severe cold can result in frostbite or hypothermia. It is easy to become disoriented in blowing snow.
- If you go out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises to warm up your body. This will reduce your chances of muscle injury.
- Avoid overexertion, especially with activities such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car or walking in deep snow.
- Walk carefully on snowy, icy sidewalks. Slips and falls occur frequently in winter weather, resulting in painful and sometimes disabling injury.
- Dress in many layers, including a hat and mittens or gloves.
- Come inside often for warm-up breaks.
- If you start to shiver or get very tired, or if your nose, fingers, toes, or ear lobes start to feel numb or turn very pale, come inside right away and seek medical assistance. These are the signs of hypothermia and frostbite and need immediate attention.
- Let someone know your destination, your route and when you expect to arrive.
- If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle and hang a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) on the radio antenna and raise the hood (after snow stops falling)
If you must drive in a storm:
Remember, the leading cause of death during winter storms is vehicle crashes. If at all possible, stay home during winter storms. If you know you will need to travel, prepare your vehicle and know how to react if you are stranded on the road.
- Check your local weather, as well as the weather along your route and at your destination. Check local media for event closings and cancellations. Remember, conditions can deteriorate quickly in a winter storm.
- Check for weather-related road conditions through the Oklahoma Department of Transportation at okroads.org
- Make sure you have plenty of fuel; a good rule of thumb is to keep your fuel tank at least half full
- Always wear your seat belt
- In ice or snow, take it slow; allow ample time to reach your destination
- Bring a cell phone with an emergency roadside assistance number (In case of emergency, you can call the Oklahoma Highway Patrol at *55 or 911)
- Remember that bridges and ramps will be the first to freeze
Driving safety tips
- Use extra caution when driving over bridges and overpasses.
- Remember that posted speed limits are only to be followed during ideal weather conditions. Slow down while driving on snow or ice.
- Give salt trucks plenty of room – stay at least 100 feet behind them so salt won't get thrown on your car.
- Plan ahead by getting up and leaving the house earlier.
- Keep at least a three-car distance from the car in front of you
- Steer and brake more slowly than usual.
- Keep warm shoes and clothes in your car.
- Clear all snow and ice from your vehicle before setting out.
- Proceed carefully through intersections.
- Have a plan if you slide off the road – who are you going to call?
Make sure your Winter Storm Disaster Supply Kit includes:
- A cell phone with extra battery or two-way radio
- Windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal
- Several blankets or sleeping bags
- Rain gear and extra sets of dry clothing, mittens, socks and a cap
- Non-perishable snacks like canned fruit, nuts and other high energy "munchies." ----Include non-electric can opener if necessary.
- Several bottles of water. Eating snow will lower your body temperature. If necessary, melt it first.
- A small sack of sand or kitty litter for generating traction under wheels and a set of tire chains or traction mats.
- Jumper cables
- A first aid kit
- A flashlight with extra batteries
- A brightly colored cloth to tie to the antenna if you get stranded.