Loudoun Emergency Workers Urge Snow Preparations

With area weather forecasters warning that computer models are envisioning the arrival of Snowmageddon II starting Friday, Loudoun County leaders have issued tips for residents to get prepared.

It’s early yet, but increasingly area residents are being urged to brace for more than 10 inches of snowfall—and perhaps a lot more over the weekend. Comparisons are being made to the Snowmageddon storm, which dumped 32 inches of snow on Loudoun County in February 2010.

Loudoun County Fire and Rescue today issued these safety tips:

  • Be aware of current road conditions and plan accordingly. If travel is necessary; slow down; don’t travel alone; inform others of your schedule; stay on main roads and keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
  • Make a Family Communications Plan. It is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • To prevent pipes from freezing, locate the faucet the greatest distance from your main water shut off valve and allow faucet to drip cold water slowly.
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Keep devices at least 20 ft. from doors, windows, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
  • Test all smoke alarms in your home and change batteries if necessary.  Smoke alarms should be installed in each bedroom or sleeping area and on every level of the home.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them inspected and serviced annually.
  • Use caution when disposing of fireplace ashes or any flammable materials in or around your home.  Fireplace ashes, cigarette butts, and grill or fire pit remnants should be placed outside in a closed metal container, a safe distance away from any structures.
  • To avoid slips and falls in icy conditions, keep walkways clear and treated, wear proper foot gear with good traction and step slowly and carefully.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow.  If you do shovel snow, stretch before going outside, push snow instead of lifting when possible, take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.
  • Stay informed. Sign up for Alert Loudoun, loudoun.gov/alert and receive emergency information, news releases, traffic information, and more.  Also go to loudoun.gov/winter for additional weather related resources.

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