Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

December 5, 2013

Stay alert for winter’s chill

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — The chill of winter has come our way as some Garvin County officials have been getting ready for days now just in case the arctic blast dropping southward is worse than hoped.

Bud Ramming, Garvin County’s emergency management director, says the possibility of a weather system coming through with sleet, freezing rain and maybe even snow get him and others in the mode to prepare.

For an anticipated weather event like the one this week, Ramming said he has been reaching out to talk to first responders of all types with a special emphasis on firefighters.

“I’ve visited with fire departments all across the county,” he said.

“If we do have bad weather we’ll be using them to check on people and assist motorists.”

For one, each of the fire departments in the county service smaller communities and areas, a plus if the conditions outside get really cold and dangerous.

“In small communities our firefighters already know the people that might need assistance,” Ramming said.

As for the general public, he says the main thing is to be prepared.

“Keep monitoring the weather and plan ahead,” he stressed.

Having a plan to deal with winter weather can include any number of things.

One is to discuss with family members what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued.

Make sure those you know understand about meeting places and phone numbers just in case.

Also know what to do if basic services, such as water, gas or electricity, are cut off for an extended period as the result of the winter blast.

“Prepare ahead of time,” Ramming suggested.

“If you don’t have to be out then don’t,” he said. “Store up things you need at home.

“If you do have to get out, in your vehicle take some things you might need in case of emergency.”

He is referring to an emergency kit in your vehicle, which could include things like a windshield scraper, charged up cell phone, several blankets, plenty of warm clothing, bottled water, snacks and jumper cables.

Other suggestions are to stay informed and understand what the weather watches and warnings mean.

Back at home, be cautious with alternative sources if a home’s normal heating system goes down because of the weather.