From the Vermont Department of Health
Date: February 13, 2007
Contact: Communication Office
Avoid Carbon Monoxide Exposure During Storms
The Vermont Department of Health wants to remind Vermonters that during power failures caused by a severe storm, generators used as back up power can create the danger of carbon monoxide (CO) exposure.
Steps people should take to avoid exposure include venting generators properly and leaving them outside. The initial symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to flu, but without the fever and include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, and dizziness.
If you suspect that you are experiencing CO poisoning, get fresh air immediately. Leave the home and call for assistance from a neighbor's home. For more information, read the Health Department fact sheet on carbon monoxide at http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/indoor_air/co.aspx
Get more information on winter weather and how to prepare from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/
Date: February 13, 2007
Contact: Mark Bosma, Public Information Officer
Vermont Emergency Management
Emergency Operation Center Steps Up Activation Level and Advises Vermonters to be Prepared
WATERBURY, VT— Because of a prediction of heavy snow and winds for late Tuesday into Thursday, Vermont Emergency Management (VEM) has stepped up its activation level and encourages everyone to check in on the elderly or those with special needs throughout the storm.
Infants and older adults are particularly susceptible to hypothermia, or below normal body temperature. Infants do not make enough body heat by shivering, and the slower metabolism of an older adult will not create enough body heat if exposed to cold temperatures.
Vermont Emergency Management encourages the elderly and those with special needs to contact their local power company and local community officials to alert them of those needs in the event of a power outage.
The National Weather Service in Burlington issued winter storm warnings for most areas of Vermont from late Tuesday night into Thursday morning. Heavy snow is expected to fall across the state Wednesday into Wednesday night, with accumulations generally of 12 to 24 inches likely.
The snow will likely be accompanied by wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour. These conditions will make driving difficult, and could interrupt basic services like power and telephone. The National Weather Service is also expecting cold temperatures, with highs of 15 to 20, and overnight lows of 5 to 10 degrees.
As always, VEM encourages Vermonters to be ready for this or any disaster by putting together an emergency preparedness kit, and stocking up on special items to cope with winter weather before the storm starts.
Some easy steps you can take to prepare for winter weather:
- Stock up on flashlights and batteries in your home and car.
- Purchase a battery-powered radio or NOAA weather radio to listen for advisories.
- Keep your gas tank and your home heating tank full of fuel.
- Purchase extra non-perishable food for your home and your car.
- Keep a first-aid kit in your home and car.
- Maintain a significant supply of bottled water in your home.
- Those who have elderly neighbors or live near someone with special needs should arrange to check on them during a storm or power outage.
- When running a generator, it is important that the generator is outdoors; an improperly operated generator can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Check your owner’s manual before operating a generator.
The Vermont State Police recommend the following safety tips for winter weather driving:
Before you travel
- Check road and weather conditions before leaving.
- Avoid traveling unless necessary and always allow yourself extra time to get to your destination.
- Make sure your vehicle is in good mechanical condition with snow tires and winter windshield wiper blades.
On the Road
- Watch for and expect changing road conditions, black ice, blowing snow, high winds or whiteout conditions can appear when you least expect them.
- The single most important rule is to drive at a speed that matches the prevailing visibility, traffic and road conditions. The posted speed limits are for dry, clear conditions only.
- Be sure to leave yourself plenty of extra room, extend the following distance from other vehicles ahead.
- If your car doesn't make it to your destination, pull as far off the road as possible, to minimize any further traffic hazards, and stay in the car. Even a short walk in winter storm conditions can be dangerous.
- Carry a cell phone and use 911 in case of an emergency, but do not become overly dependant on a cell phone.
Towns that may need assistance during the storm are encouraged to call Vermont Emergency Management’s Emergency Operations Center at 800-347-0488.
Regular press releases will be distributed throughout the storm updating the media on current conditions; your cooperation in informing the public is appreciated.