How to prepare for winter weather - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

How to prepare for winter weather

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

With the possibility of bad winter weather, it's "wait and see", but that doesn't mean you should wait to get prepared. 

Weather conditions are expected to deteriorate starting Tuesday afternoon. The

Savannah American Red Cross is going into preparation mode now, and they encourage you to do the same.

"Make sure that you have a kit ready if you have to perhaps shelter in place," says Esther Sheppard, Chapter Development Manager.  "Make sure kids have games. Make sure you have basic essentials, batteries for your flashlights. Make sure you have food in the refrigerator, make sure you have water for animals, make sure there is food.  Just basics necessities for every single day that you would utilize."

One of the biggest problems could be power outages. Stock some food that doesn't need  to be cooked. The USDA says keep your fridge and freezer doors closed as much as possible. 

Food stays cold in the fridge for up to four hours.  A full freezer will hold the temperature for 48 hours, while a half full freezer will hold temperature for 24 hours.

It's also important to think about an alternative heating source. If you have a fireplace that has been cleaned and prepared for winter use, stock some wood and keep it dry.

Never use your stove or grill to heat the interior of your home and do not bring grills inside to cook.  

Generators require good ventilation, because the carbon monoxide from them can be deadly. Make sure you know how to safely operate one prior to an emergency. 

For most people, staying warm during a power outage will just mean piling on the blankets.

If you do lose power, Palmetto Electric said to wait a few minutes and see if it comes back on, then check your circuit breaker or fuse box before reporting the outage.

In the Lowcountry call "PowerTouch" to report power outages at 1-866-445-5551.

For Georgia Power call 1.888.891.0938.

On smartphones you can view the outages by logging into your account and you can also sign up for outage alerts. 

Also, don't forget about your pets. Even if there is no snow or ice, temperatures will be too low to leave them outside through Thursday.

Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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