Winter Weather Preparedness

A message from our Emergency Disaster Services Department

When the temperatures drop in Missouri and Southern Illinois, the region often deals with an assortment of winter weather concerns – from ice and snow to extreme cold. In recent St. Louis winters, we have seen massive icing and widespread power outages throughout the area.

In addition to staying indoors as much as possible to reduce the risk of accidents and exposure to extreme cold, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services wants to share with you other steps you can take to be adequately prepared for the sudden effects of winter weather:

  1. Prepare a winter weather nourishment survival kit for your home, including food that is edible without cooking or refrigeration such as breads, cereals, crackers, canned goods and dehydrated fruits and meats. If you have young children in the home, be sure to stock baby food and formula. Additionally, store 5 gallons of clean water per person in case your water pipes freeze or rupture. Put back extra medicines that any family member may need as well.
  2. Plan for an alternate heat source in the event of a power failure, and stock the fuel – dry firewood for a fireplace or wood stove or kerosene for a kerosene heater. If you intend to rely on an electric space heater, you’ll want to secure and test a generator for a power supply.
  3. Set aside odds and ends to address cold, snow and ice, such as shovels, rock salt, blankets, matches, flashlights.
  4. If you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for emergency heating, have your chimney or flue inspected annually and be certain to have a smoke detector and carbon monoxide in good working order.
  5. Prepare your car for winter by having the radiator system serviced; replacing windshield-wiper fluid with a winter mix and replacing any worn tires. Don’t forget to check tire pressure as tires can get low with temperature fluctuations! Keep items such as blankets,first aid kits, windshield scrapers, road maps, sand or cat litter, canned foods and flash lights on hand in case you find yourself stranded.
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