Officials Urge Residents To Prepare For Blizzard

By: KKTV
By: KKTV

With another potentially dangerous blizzard knocking, El Paso County officials and the Red Cross are warning people to get prepared.

El Paso County officials issued the following advisory Wednesday afternoon:

MEDIA RELEASE
December 27, 2006 [4:00 p.m.]

PRE-WINTER STORM / BLIZZARD ADVISORY

The winter snowstorm that is likely to hit El Paso County and the plains starting mid-day tomorrow presents new challenges for our safety. In many parts of the county, there is very limited space to plow and shovel the snow due to excess amounts remaining from our previous snowstorm. Travel will be more treacherous than last week, and maybe more dangerous than ever before in the county. The Sheriff’s Office would like to suggest that citizens do three things today through tomorrow at noon.

Re-supply your 72-hour kit at the grocery and supply stores NOW! Gather enough food to be able to stay in your home unassisted for 3 days. Water is most important. Have at least one-gallon per person, per day of potable water. For example, a family of three should have 9 gallons of water on hand.

Clear driveways and walkways wider, to make room for the new snow.

Plan now to go home early on Thursday if the storm develops as forecast, and plan to remain there until you hear it is safe to travel again. That may not be until sometime late Friday, or even Saturday.

If you are an employer, monitor the situation closely tomorrow and make a decision early on – certainly before 3 p.m. - on whether your employees should be released early for the day or not. If you operate a food, fuel or safety organization you already know which employees are essential to serving the public, and should be asked to stay. You may want to suggest that they come to work on Thursday prepared to stay the night, if necessary for their own safety.

More detailed information on family and business preparedness is available on several websites including:

shr.elpasoco.com, under Law Enforcement Bureau, Emergency Services Division
http://www.pparc.org/
www.readycolorado.com
www.ready.gov
or the United Way 2-1-1 information line.

The Red Cross issued the following advisory Wednesday afternoon:

Colorado Springs – Another snow storm has been predicted to hit the Front Range this week as early as Thursday, December 28. As Coloradans and their holiday visitors prepare to travel within and out of the state and with the New Year’s weekend approaching, the American Red Cross Pikes Peak Chapter urges residents to be prepared. If travel is not absolutely necessary, the Red Cross recommends that residents stay off the roads to ensure their own and others’ safety.

“Whether traveling locally or visiting another part of the state, we must all be aware of possible winter weather conditions”, says David Just, CEO for the Pikes Peak Chapter. “We can all be prepared and take steps to make winter travel safer. The Red Cross will open shelters as needed but we ask that if you don’t have to travel, to please stay home where it is safe and warm.” The Red Cross recommends the following tips for safe winter travel:

Dress appropriately before going outdoors. The air temperature does not have to be below freezing for someone to experience cold emergencies such as hypothermia and frostbite.
 Dress in layers so you can adjust to changing conditions
 Most of your body heat is lost through your head so wear a hat, preferably one that covers your ears
 Mittens provide more warmth to your hands than gloves
 Wear waterproof, insulated boots to help keep your feet warm and dry
 Get out of wet clothes immediately and warm the core body temperature with a blanket or warm fluids like hot cider or soup

If you must travel during a winter storm, allow extra time and monitor weather conditions carefully and adhere to travel advisories. Inform someone of your destination, route, and time you expect to arrive. Keep a Winter Storm Survival Kit in your car that includes the following:
 Blankets, extra warm clothing, hats, gloves, and socks
 Ready-to-eat food
 Water
 Flares and flashlight with extra batteries
 First Aid Kit
 Brightly colored cloth (preferably red)

If you get stuck in your car during a winter storm:
 Stay with your car. Do not try to walk to safety.
 Tie a brightly colored cloth to your antenna for rescuers to see
 Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes won’t back up into the car.
 Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so that you can be seen.
 As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to keep blood circulating and to stay warm.
 Keep one window away from the blowing wind slightly open to let in air.

The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work. Contributions to the American Red Cross may be sent to American Red Cross Pikes Peak Chapter, 1040 S. 8th Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80906.

Stay with 11 News for the latest information.


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