Road crews gearing up as winter storm approaches Ky., tips on how to be prepared


Posted on January 5, 2010 at 7:50 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 6 at 9:04 AM

FRANKFORT, Ky. - State and local officials are busy preparing as the National Weather Service (NWS) offices serving Kentucky have issued winter storm watches and warnings across much of the Commonwealth.

The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) and the Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee (KWPC) would like to remind you to "Be aware, be prepared and have a plan!"

A winter weather system is approaching the Commonwealth threatening to bring accumulating snow to accompany the already frigid air that has gripped Kentucky and much of the nation.

This Friday, even colder air is expected to follow the snow and linger over the weekend, plunging temperatures to single digits and overnight lows to zero or below. The extremely low temperatures,
coupled with the wind chill factors, can turn deadly.

Coping with snow is often a nuisance; however the bigger problems come with extreme cold. "Those who haven't already closed the(foundation) vents on their homes, wrapped exposed pipes in insulation or completed proper winterizing will have to scramble. Something as simple as unhooking your garden hose from the outside water faucet can prevent it from freezing and have costly plumbing repairs," said Buddy Rogers, public information officer for KYEM and a KWPC board member.

"You must also be aware of hypothermia during this type of cold and limit your exposure outdoors and dress warmly,
in layers."

A major concern is space heaters used in cold weather, or individuals using generators during power outages.

"If you use space heaters be sure to follow the manufactures safety instructions, making sure they have proper and adequate ventilation for the exhaust gases, and please, PLEASE, keep them away from curtains, furniture or other flammable items," said Rogers.

"Always operate generators outside the home and away from windows and doors. And don't forget to keep fresh batteries in your smoke alarms, as well as your weather alert radios."

Keep a small bag of kitty litter or rock salt in a car trunk to be used if one gets stuck on a patch of ice or a frozen rut.  Always keep a blanket or sleeping bags available during winter travel, as well.

When driving during snowy weather conditions allow plenty of room between vehicles and watch your speed.  Slow down!  The best advice remains, if you don't have to travel during inclement weather, don't.

Being prepared for winter weather, starts at home. Rogers suggests adhering to the KYEM/ KWPC slogan: "BE AWARE - BE PREPARED - HAVE A PLAN!"

During periods of inclement weather, stay tuned to your local broadcasting stations, invest in and monitor a weather alert radio and use good common sense.