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The original item was published from 1/18/2019 2:27:34 PM to 1/18/2019 2:30:34 PM.

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Posted on: January 18, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Winter Storm Safety Tips


With an anticipated winter weather event beginning on Saturday evening, the Town of Amherst's Emergency Management Team is taking this chance to share some winter storm safety tips and reminders. Please stay safe, follow these tips and call public safety in the event of an emergency.

Before a Winter Storm

  • Sign up for Amherst Emergency Alerts
  • Be aware of the Parking Ban (blue flashing lights at intersections, scrolling banner across our websites pages)
  • Create and review your family emergency plan.
    • If you receive medical treatments or home health care services, work with your medical provider to determine how to maintain care and service if you are unable to leave your home for a period of time.
  • Assemble an emergency kit. Add seasonal supplies to your emergency kit, such as extra winter clothing and blankets.
  • Follow instructions from public safety officials.
  • Prepare for possible power outages.
    • Fully charge your cellphone, laptop, and other electronic devices before a storm if power outages are expected.
  • Prepare your home for possible emergencies.
    • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches around your home that could fall and cause injury or damage.
    • Clear clogged rain gutters to allow water to flow away from your home. Melting snow and ice can build up if gutters are clogged with debris.
    • Ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working and have fresh batteries.
    • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
    • Ensure you have sufficient heating fuel and consider safe backup heating options such as fireplaces or woodstoves.
  • Ensure your vehicle is ready for safe winter driving. Keep the gas tank at least half-full and have a Winter Emergency Car Kit in the trunk.

During a Winter Storm

  • Minimize outdoor activities. Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive, utilize MEMA’s winter driving safety tips.
  • Keep your pets safe with Winter Pet Safety Tips.
  • Dress for the season to protect against the elements. Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing instead of a single heavy layer. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear a hat, mittens (not gloves) and sturdy waterproof boots to protect your extremities. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

After a Winter Storm

  • Continue to monitor media for emergency information.
  • Follow instructions from public safety officials.
  • Call 9-1-1 to report emergencies, including downed power lines and gas leaks.
  • Stay away from downed utility wires. Always assume a downed power line is live.
  • Stay off streets and roads until they are clear of snow.
  • Clear exhaust vents from direct vent gas furnace systems to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are working as it is a silent, odorless, killer.
  • Clear snow from around vehicle exhaust pipes before starting the vehicle to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Make sure emergency generators or secondary heating systems are well ventilated because their fumes contain carbon monoxide. See more Generator Safety Tips
  • Don’t park too close to corners so public safety vehicles and plows can maneuver safely.
  • Please remember! Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions and those who may need additional assistance.

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