BRATTLEBORO -- Snow, sleet, ice, or a mixture of each could be on the way to Vermont over the next few days according to the National Weather Service. These conditions could present a number of hazards to Vermonters and its visitors.
The Vermont Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security stated in a press release that there is a potential for slippery travel conditions, downed trees and power lines and other issues depending on how the storm develops.
Below are some reminders on what to watch out for and how to prepare for adverse winter conditions:
Check in with your neighbors, especially those who are elderly or may be in need of assistance; ensure your home has a sufficient supply of whatever you use as fuel to heat your home; have extra items on hand in case you can’t leave your house for a while (flashlight, batteries, battery powered radio, water, non-perishable foods; and ask your town where the nearest warming shelter is located.
If you lose power, keep your fridge and freezer closed to keep food cold and safe. A closed fridge will keep food for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
If you see a downed power line, leave it alone; always treat power lines as if they are live. If clearing trees or limbs make certain they are not in contact with a power line. Report outages to your power company.
Never run a generator indoors. Ensure it is outside, far away from windows or any other area from which exhaust can vent back into a living area.
Make sure your pipes are insulated. If your pipes freeze know where the water shut off is and never use a blow torch or other open flame to thaw the pipes out. A blow dryer is one safe way to take care of the problem.
Have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Never use an "improvised" heat source like grill or oven as they can be fire or carbon monoxide hazards. Make sure all heating vents are clear and properly discharging out of the house.
If traveling, check out a weather report before heading out. Keep a blanket, flashlight, cell phone, sand (or anything that can help you get traction if you get stuck), jumper cables, and other items in the car you may need if you slide off the road and have to hunker down.
For more information, visit vem.vermont.gov/preparedness/hazards/winter.