NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR (News release) – With winter weather forecast for the next two days in the state, the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) is providing tips and urging residents to be prepared for the event.
Arkansans can prepare their homes by keeping bottled water on hand and having a selection of foods that can be stored and doesn’t need to be heated or refrigerated. In addition, it is always a good idea to have an ample supply of batteries in your home.
Travel is not recommended when severe winter weather is occurring. When traction becomes greatly reduced, accidents become much more likely. Clearing icy roads becomes difficult when there is a great deal of traffic. More vehicles delay salt crews and plows, with roads remaining hazardous for a longer period of time.
For those who must travel, slow down and use your brakes sparingly (to avoid sliding and spinning). So you don’t get stranded (or if you get stranded), you also want to do the following: Winterize your vehicle (check antifreeze, depth of tire treads, overall running condition). Keep your gas tank at least half full to minimize ice in the tank. Carry a Winter Storm Survival Kit with you in the trunk.
The kit should include warm blankets, flash lights, non-perishable food, drinking water, and first aid. If you get stuck, the following tools might be helpful: A shovel, tow rope, cat litter (for traction), and jumper cables. Always bring a windshield scraper to help you see where you’re going! Before you leave, let someone know where you’re going and what route you plan to take. It will make it easier to find you should you get stranded.
Dressing for the weather is certainly recommended. Wear several layers of loose-fitting, light-weight clothing. The layers actually trap warm air…and keep the cold air out. Don’t forget your pets. They get cold too!
Water lines are prone to break when it’s frigid. Allow a small stream of water to flow through your faucets. This will keep water moving through the pipes.
The forecasting of ice always bring the possibility of trees and especially limbs giving way to the weight of the ice and falling on power lines, resulting in outages. When that does occur, Arkansans should especially remember never to use a generator indoors or in an attached garage. Just like an automobile, a portable generator uses an internal combustible engine that emits deadly carbon monoxide. Be sure to place the generator where exhaust fumes will not enter the house. Only operate it outdoors in a well-ventilated, dry area, away from air intakes to the home, and protected from direct exposure to rain and snow, preferably under a canopy, open shed or carport.