Prepare before winter weather sets in

Published 8:35 pm Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nov. 17 – Nov. 19 will be Alabama Winter Weather Awareness week.

The National Weather Service and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency will observe this week as proclaimed by Gov. Bob Riley.

Chilton County has had its snowstorms and is known to be home to some pretty cold weather during the winter months. Winter weather doesn’t have to be a big deal, though. When prepared for, all winter weather can be enjoyed.

Some of the first steps in being prepared for winter weather includes making sure your home is cold proof. Of course, nothing is 100 percent cold proof, but adding caulk to your windows and closing gaps between doorways can significantly help keep your home heated. If a large winter storm passes through and your are left with no electricity, it is important to make sure that you have a back up plan for keeping your home warm, whether by having a real fire in a fireplace or by having some kind of gas heater running.

“Keeping your house insulated is a good way to stay warm during the winter. Once your home is properly insulated, then making sure it is heated correctly is the next step that you will need to take,” said Bill Collum, Chilton County Emergency Management Agency director. “It is important to remember that all heating sources can cause a fire and to keep a close eye on any heaters that you have running.”

Your home is not the only place that needs to be prepared for cold weather. Most adults spend more than half of their day in a vehicle. No matter your reason for travel, make sure that you have the proper gear in your car for an emergency winter weather situation.

Some things that you may want to keep in mind for your car are non-perishable foods, extra blankets or a sleeping bag, water, a flashlight with batteries, extra clothing, a cell phone for calling for help, a small shovel and kitty litter or sand to help tire gain friction

“It is important to keep your car ready for any kind of situation that you might be in no matter what time of the year it is. Winter is a time when it is really important to be prepared though.” Collum said.

Collum added that winter months are also hard on pets, and anyone with an outdoor pet should make sure the pet has a shelter as well as something in the shelter to keep them warm such as cedar chips, blankets or shredded newspaper. Winter weather may not be as big of a problem in Chilton County as it is in some parts of the state, but with today’s weather you can never be too safe.