As New Hampshire braces for a potential ice storm this weekend, the American Red Cross and Unitil are working together to plan, prepare, and assist residents who may be impacted by this weather event. Together, the American Red Cross and Unitil urge residents to prepare in advance of this potentially devastating winter storm to keep their family and loved ones safe.
“By preparing together for winter storms, we can make our families safer and our communities stronger,” said Kayleigh Robertson, American Red Cross spokesperson. “We strongly suggest that our New Hampshire communities begin to prepare their families and homes now for this winter storm.”
While forecasts may change, ice levels for this storm in central and northern New Hampshire have the potential to damage tree limbs and utility equipment, causing power outages. “If outages occur, we will work quickly and efficiently to restore power, but it is important for all households and businesses to remain ‘Red Cross Ready’ for this storm, and throughout the winter months,” said Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara.
The Red Cross and Unitil recommend that New Hampshire residents prepare for this winter ice storm 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. 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 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.
• 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. Running water, even at a trickle, helps to prevent pipes from freezing.
Unitil will be communicating throughout the restoration through Public Service Announcements (PSAs), its website, customer call center and through the media. Unitil also encourages customers to follow along with our storm updates via Twitter (@Unitil), Facebook 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 www.redcross.org/nh.
About Unitil Corporation:
Unitil Corporation provides energy for life by safely and reliably delivering natural gas and electricity in New England. We are committed to the communities we serve and to developing people, business practices and technologies that lead to dependable, more efficient energy. Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company with operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Together, Unitil’s operating utilities serve approximately 101,700 electric customers and 73,700 natural gas customers. Other subsidiaries include Usource, Unitil’s non-regulated business segment. For more information about our people, technologies and community involvement please visit www.unitil.com.