Preparing for Weekend’s Winter Storm: Jan. 19-20

By Norm Needleman.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for most of Connecticut from Saturday evening through Sunday. Heavy snow, sleet, and freezing rain is expected. Total snow accumulation of 6 inches or more is possible. There will be dangerous travel conditions due to near whiteout conditions at times and snow-covered roads. Freezing rain and ice may result in isolated power outages.

Remember, a Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow are expected. A crippling impact on all travel is expected.

Keeping Safe During Winter Storms

  • Stay off the roads if possible.
  • Remove vehicles from the street.
  • Clear snow and ice from sidewalks and footpaths that adjoin your property and clear fire hydrants as soon as possible.
  • Drivers must make sure their vision is not impaired by ice or snow, and snow must be removed from roofs, etc. so it does not slide off and impact or impair other operators.
  • DO NOT shovel or plow snow into the street.
  • If you have a medical emergency, contact 911 for assistance, otherwise refrain from calling police, fire or public works to find out when your street will be plowed. Calls detract from the work at hand.
  • In some communities, snow cleanup usually takes between 16 and 24 hours from the end of a snowstorm. Cooperation in these activities will allow for quicker and more effective clearance of all streets. For questions or for more information, including winter safety tips, visit your town’s website, Facebook or Twitter pages.
  • In the event emergency travel is necessary, fill up your car with gas, check oil and windshield fluid levels.
  • Sign up for emergency alerts at www.ctalert.gov.
  • Find a local warming station or shelter in your area by calling Infoline at 211.
  • For additional info on winter weather preparedness go to www.ct.gov/demhs.

Reporting Power Outages to Eversource

Prepare a Storm Kit

  • One gallon of bottled water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food for you and your pet
  • A three-day supply of prescription medication
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • Moist towelettes
  • Plastic trash bags and ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
  • Extra fuel (stored in a safe container) for the power generator

Safety Tips for Winter Emergencies

  • If you use a generator, follow all safety precautions provided by the manufacturer.
  • If you use a cell phone, save your power or have a plan to be able to charge the phone.
  • Gather all necessary medications and make sure you have an adequate supply.
  • If you rely on oxygen please be sure you have an ample supply on hand.
  • If you, a friend or family member relies on electricity for life support devices, well water or refrigeration for medications, please make preparations now to switch to a backup source or move to an alternate location. It’s also a good idea to have a battery back-up for medical equipment.
  • For information on emergency disaster services including shelters, please contact the Connecticut American Red Cross by dialing 877-287-3327.
  • For non-emergency services, please contact Infoline by dialing 211 or online at www.211ct.org.

Norm Needleman is our Connecticut State Senator, representing District 33.

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