Kacy Buxton/The Mainstream
Img tagThe Athletic Complex and Tom Keel Fitness Center after the February 2019 snowstorm “Snowpocalypse.”

Better safe than sorry:
Preparing for winter weather

“Careful planning is a must,” said Tim Fjeld Seven Feather’s Safety Manager, while discussing tips for keeping safe and prepared for winter weather.  Planning is important, but if the required action is not taken then the plan was all for nothing.

To be safe and prepared for any winter emergency, you need to take an active part in checking weather and road conditions.  “I encourage our folks to look out the window and assess their location, assess their destination and use TripCheck to determine road conditions in between,” said Tracy DePew, Director of Emergency Management for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians.

TripCheck is a website that gives information about road conditions and gives access to roadside camera images.  Provided by Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Tripcheck is a great tool to use to check road conditions and if there are any accidents or a road closure. “This gives you real time data that’s reliable,” said Fjeld.

For information regarding weather the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a reliable source of weather information.  “There are many weather apps that are fairly reliable but anything from the National Weather Service is the key,” said Fjeld.

 “I would avoid social media or crowd source generated information as credible reporting sources.  I frankly don’t use them,” says DePew. As anyone can add information, it may or may not be reliable.

Keeping an eye on weather and road information is only one part of active preparedness.  It is also important to have key items in your house and car in case of an emergency.

One of the most important items to have in your car in case of an emergency is food such as high protein energy bars or a non-perishable food source. Water is also key.  “Think about needing to be self-reliant for up to 2 days for winter,” said DePew.  A way of staying warm is also vital and blankets, extra jackets and gloves should be kept in the car.  Having a reliable method to charge your phone is also wise. Hazard triangles or LED Flashers are good to have in the event of an accident.

The most important items to have in your home in case of an emergency include about two weeks’ worth of non-perishable food items and a gallon of water per person per day for two weeks. First aid kits, medications, a non-electric heat source such as a propane or a wood stove, blankets and warm clothing are all important as well.

“Check conditions in advance and don’t travel if there is risk of becoming stranded,” said DePew.  Unnecessary risks can be avoided by careful preparation and planning.

10 Items to Have in Your Car

• Portable Phone Charger (or someway to charge your phone)

• Food and water

• Warm winter clothing (gloves are very important), disposable foil warming blanket

• Flashlight

• Shovel

• Bag of sand or kitty litter (helps with traction if needed)

• Ice scraper

• Hazard triangles or LED flashers

• First Aid kit

• Tool kit

15 Items to Have in Your House

• Two weeks’ worth of water (one gallon per person per day)

• Two weeks’ worth of nonperishable food

• Food for pets

• Cell phone

• A way to stay warm

• Hand crank radio

• Extra fuel

• First Aid kit

• Medications

• Matches and candles

• Fire Extinguisher

• A heat source to cook with other than electricity

• Batteries

• Emergency Contact List and copies of documents

• Warm clothes and blankets

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