As temperatures are expected to dip well below freezing tonight and over the coming days, The City of Brookhaven’s Emergency Management Supervisor Sergeant Matthew Murray advises that now is the time to prepare for a winter storm. He offers the following tips to all Georgia residents for the upcoming arctic blast.
- Remember the three “P’s”: Pets, Plants and Pipes. Pets should be brought inside; plants should be covered or brought inside; and faucets (both hot and cold) should be left dripping when the temperatures drop below freezing. Insulate water heaters and pipes, especially external spigots. Unhook outside hoses.
- Turn off automatic sprinklers and check for any other leaks that could freeze and become a hazard to your family or other residents.
- Learn how to shut off utilities safely in the event of burst pipes or electrical failure.
- Stock up on fuel and get an alternative heat source. Consider alternative heat sources like firewood or a generator in case the electricity goes out. If you already have a generator, make sure it’s in good working order.
- Prepare a “72-hour” kit consisting of the bare essentials to handle the initial brunt of a power outage. Add coats, extra socks, hand/foot warmers, blankets, and long sleeve shirts to your kit. Also include non-perishable canned goods, a battery-operated radio, sterno canned heat, and disposable eating utensils. Have extra flashlights and batteries in supply and try to keep candle use to a minimum to lower the risk of accidental fires.
- Review heater safety with your family. Cold weather and loss of power leads to use of indoor heaters that can increase house fire risks. Teach your kids how to respect space heaters and give that chimney and furnace a little TLC in advance so they don’t break or fail when the need arises.
- Make sure your car is ready for the cold: Check tires, antifreeze and other fluid levels. Update your car’s emergency kit with blankets, an ice scraper, snack food, hand/foot warmers, an emergency blanket, and a small shovel. You can also add a flashlight and a 12-volt adapter coil heater that can plug into the lighter to heat water.
- Keep supplies of medication on hand, enough to last a few days. Also add the phone numbers of older or disabled neighbors to your phone contacts, just in case. Also have cell phones configured for automatic weather alerts.
As always, Brookhaven City leaders, police and other responders remain in “stand by” mode for any winter emergency. They can stay in contact with residents to provide much-needed updates and information during any crisis via available communication tools such as Smart911 (www.smart911.com) and Brookhaven Alert, a free service to get notifications from state and local authorities like weather, traffic and other emergencies. To sign up for Brookhaven Alert, go to www.BrookhavenGA.gov/BrookhavenAlert.