New Hampshire has not seen a major snow event this winter, but that may change by Friday, when a storm is forecast to hit the region. While forecasts may change, there is potential for snow above six inches and wind gusts above 35 miles per hour.
“Early preparation is the best way to keep your families safe,” said Unitil Media Relations Manager, Alec O’Meara. “Together with the Red Cross, we encourage local residents to replenish their emergency supplies and listen closely to local officials for storm updates.”
The Red Cross offers tips and information aimed at helping people to prepare for and weather the storm. “We want people to be safe and to know how to cope with emergencies.” Lisa Michaud, American Red Cross Spokesperson.
The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for winter storms by:
• Assembling an Emergency Preparedness Kit: Pack a winter-specific supply kit that includes a warm coat, hat, mittens or gloves, and water-resistant boots, along with extra blankets and extra warm clothing for each family member. Sand or non-clumping kitty litter is good to have on hand to help make walkways or steps less slippery. Additionally, make sure you have a first aid kit and a supply of essential medications, canned food and can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries in your home in the event of a power outage.
• Heeding Storm Warnings: A Winter Storm WATCH means winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions via NOAA Weather radio, or local radio or television stations. A Winter Storm WARNING means that life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. Individuals in a warning area should take precautions immediately. Stay tuned to local media to keep up with forecasts.
• Preparing Your Home and Car: Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full, which will help to keep the fuel line from freezing. Make sure your home is properly insulated by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to help keep cold air out. Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year. If you lose power and heat, running water at a trickle from a faucet helps to prevent pipes from freezing.
• Use Technology to Prepare and Stay Safe: Download Red Cross preparedness apps for your smartphone. Our free apps have tips and real-time information to help you prepare, as well as tools to help you keep in touch during and after a major storm. Get the apps for iPhones or Android phones at www.redcross.org/mobileapps. “Our Hurricane app has useful information for any kind of storm, including the ability to set your location and get fast notification of weather alerts. The preparedness tips there are helpful for any weather situation,” Michaud said.
Unitil will be communicating throughout the storm through Public Service Announcements (PSAs), their website, their customer call center and through the media. Unitil also encourages customers to follow along with storm updates via Unitil’s Twitter feed (@Unitil) and will be providing real-time outage information online at www.unitil.com/map.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/nh or call us at 1-800-464-6692. Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross in New Hampshire at P.O. Box 2528, Concord, NH 03302-2528. Please consider joining us as we empower others to prepare, prevent and respond to emergencies.