Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Windy Day-Emergency Preparedness

As I'm sitting here writing this post, I'm listening to the wind. I can hear it rustling the trees, blowing the tarp covering on our incomplete pole barn and winging items like garbage and trash cans down the street.  We have kept our dogs inside today for safety from the flying debris.

Blown garbage. 
Blown garbage. 
More garbage.
Accuweather.com has a winter storm warning for our area. The winds are predicted to be 25 to 40 MPH with gusts of 60 MPH. I believe it. Predication for our snow accumulation, through Wednesday at 4:00 PM, is to be six to twelve inches and two to four feet in the higher elevations. I haven't seen any snow or signs of it yet, thankfully. We are just trying to deal with the wind and it's effects.

Fence knocked over by wind.
Windy weather can cause concerns for several reasons:
  1. Flying garbage can obstruct a drivers view if it lands on the windshield or causes a distraction.
  2. Large vehicles like travel trailers or semi-trucks can be turned over. Usually in our area the highway is closed or at least a wind advisory is in affect. 
  3. Heavy garbage or other items can be blown around damaging persons or property.
  4. Power outages can occur.
  5. Trees can have limbs break off causing damage to surrounding buildings or persons standing nearby. 
To be prepared for windy weather:
  • Ensure gates are fastened to prevent them from swinging back and forth or breaking off.
  • Have trash cans either weighted down or placed out of the wind.
  • Don't drive if you don't have to, if you do drive, drive slower and more cautiously. 
  • Be aware of road closings, blockages from trees and advisories.
  • Stay inside. Windy weather is not a time to be out doing yard work. 
  • Check trees periodically for stability prior to any bad weather. If they are not stable, have them cut down or stabilized if healthy. Unstable or unhealthy trees are likely to fall in bad weather. 
  • Have another source of power; generator, flashlights with working batteries, candles.
  • Have a battery or crank powered radio for weather news.
  • Check on elderly neighbors especially if a power outage happens to ensure they have heat.
  • Have alternate sources of heat. We normally heat with wood, electric heaters in kitchen and bathroom to prevent damage to pipes in freezing weather. We are also set up for propane and natural gas.
  • Have enough food for a minimum of one month. Especially if you live in isolated area as we do.
  • If you have a well and an electric pump, ensure you have a source of back-up water. 
  • Have an emergency kit in your car. Include a three day supply of water and food, extra clothes such as hats, gloves, jackets and a blanket. A flashlight usually comes in handy too if you are stuck on a road because of an accident or blockage. 
  • Always have medical supplies such as bandages, antibiotic ointment, bandage tape, pain and fever relievers at home and in the car. Have prescription medications for a minimum of two weeks at all times too. 
  • Make sure you have a working manual can opener for can food.
Rockett stayed in the nest box and protected everybody's eggs. 
Some of our pets weren't bothered by the wind. 
I hope these tips will help you in preparing yourself to handle emergencies. Many of these tips can be applied to all emergencies. Other links with emergency preparedness tips I use are; Red Cross and http://bepreparedcalifornia.ca.gov/epo/.

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