Anyone who grew up in the greater Cincinnati area during the era of Uncle Al remembers the weather song “What is the weather today? Will it rain, will it snow, will it sunshine? Tell us so. “
Predicting what the weather may bring remains an imperfect science, but today’s forecast are certainly more accurate than in the past. Even so, if or when we get snow over the weekend is an unanswered question. However, promises that temperatures will put the area in the deep freeze soon are an almost sure thing.
As the coldest temperatures of the season are expected within a few days, Mason County Emergency Management Director Tim Nolder is offering up some advice on how to cope with the cold.
Be prepared for winter weather, he said. Listen to NOAA weather radio or commercial radio/television to stay informed about winter storm watches, warnings and advisories.
At home and work, plan ahead for winter storms by having supplies on hand including flashlights and extra batteries, battery-backup powered NOAA weather radio, extra food and water, extra medicine and baby supplies. Remember pets and be sure to have plenty of food and water on hand for them. Keep them indoors if at all possible.
If you can, stay inside during hazardous winter weather. To keep inside safe and warm, experts advise:
— When using alternate heat from a fireplace, wood stove or space heater use fire safeguards and properly ventilate.
— Close off unneeded rooms.
— Stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors.
— Cover windows at night.
— Eat and drink. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat.
— Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing.
The best advice for forecasted winter conditions is simply stay at home.” However, if you must go out:
— Wear loose, lightweight, warm clothes in layers.
— Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent, and hooded.
— Wear a hat — half your body heat loss can be from the head.
— Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold.
— Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves.
— Try to stay dry.
Looking out for elderly family members and neighbors is also advised by Nolder.
If someone you know is elderly or dependent on life-sustaining or health-related equipment such as a ventilator, respirator or oxygen concentrator, make plans now to ensure their needs are met during severe winter weather and possible power outages, he said.
Help them stock a home disaster kit including a flashlight and extra batteries, a battery-operated radio, bottled water, non-perishable foods, essential medicines, and extra blankets or sleeping bags.
Check on them after a storm or power outage. Register them, as a special needs customer with their utility so they will become a priority customer. Notify others who could provide help such as neighbors, relatives, nearby friends and local emergency responders such as the fire department.
Also, have a list of emergency numbers readily available.
For more information on weather-related preparations, visit kyem.ky.gov.