With wintery weather predicated for the Tuesday and Wednesday, the City of Germantown offered advice for staying safe and healthy during the icy precipitation. City of Germantown personnel met early today to review plans for the City's response should ice accumulations cause significant problems for residents, businesses and visitors.
"The city has an established emergency plan to deal with natural and man-made disasters," said Mayor Sharon Goldsworthy. "City employees are pre-assigned to emergency operations positions and tasks. Equipment has been inventoried and plans are in place to deploy public safety and public works staff as needed. Employees are well trained to cope with severe weather conditions."
Many City buildings, including the animal shelter, are equipped with generators to assure continuity of essential services in the event of power failures. City streets will not be pre-treated because the rain would wash away materials; however, crews are set to respond immediately when precipitation turns to snow and ice.
Individuals and families are urged to prepare for a winter storm with potential to knock down electrical lines, leaving homes without light or heat sources. Locate: flashlights and fresh batteries (avoid using candles for light or heat during power outages); battery-powered or crank radio to assure access to information; extra blankets and heavy clothing; food that does not require cooking; and a multiple-day supply of critical medications.
The city officials also offer other considerations:
• Protect outside spigots from freezing by using covers or by turning off the water source. Drip all inside faucets and open cabinet doors to circulate heat.
• Keep rock salt on hand (kitty litter also will work for traction) to help with icy walkways.
• Make sure your vehicle's gas tank is near full at all times to prevent ice in the tank and fuel lines. Add an ice scraper, blanket and some non-perishable snacks to your car's emergency kit.
• If you are planning on using a gas-powered generator, check your fuel supply. Never run a generator out of garage or in the house.
• If you know of a neighbor, friend or relative who is housebound or elderly, plan to check on them. The ability to feel a change in temperature decreases with age, and the elderly are more likely to have health problems caused by the cold.
• Bring all outdoor pets inside or to a warmer area, and be sure to provide pets with plenty of fresh, unfrozen drinking water.
• If pipes should freeze, thaw them gently with warm air from an electric hair dryer. If you are unable to thaw the pipes due to power outage, or if the pipes have broken, report it to MLG&W. Use bottled water or get water from a neighbor's house. In an emergency, you also can melt snow.
• In case of a power outage, do not use candles for risk of fire. Do not use a gas stove for heating purposes. If you cannot safely get to another location, stay inside, dress in warm layers and use blankets to help with heat loss.
• Again, never run a generator in the garage or the house.