DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

January 3, 2013

Get ready for winter storms before they hit


Derry News

---- — As part of an ongoing partnership, Unitil Corporation, a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, and the American Red Cross are advising local residents to prepare for severe storms and cold weather this winter with helpful safety tips.

“Being prepared is a family’s best defense and the American Red Cross wants everyone to be ready for the possible effects of this winter storm,” said Maria White, CEO of the New Hampshire region. “We urge folks to get prepared by replenishing their emergency supplies, finalizing plans for pets, and listening closely to local officials for updates on the storm.”

“Winter storms in New England can bring strong winds, heavy snow and ice that can potentially cause power outages” said Alec O’Meara, Unitil media relations manager. “If outages occur, local utilities will work quickly and efficiently to restore power, but it is important for all households and businesses to remain ‘Red Cross Ready’ throughout the winter months.”

The American Red Cross and Unitil encourage New Englanders to prepare for severe weather this winter by taking the following precautions:

Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.

Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.

Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.

If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees F.

Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.

Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task.

Help people who require special assistance such as elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.

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. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

In advance of severe winter weather, local residents should prepare by checking and making an inventory of the following items: flashlights and fresh batteries; a battery-operated radio and clock; bottled water, canned foods and a manual can opener; a list of important phone numbers and a car charger for cell phones if applicable; and a first aid kit.

Additional winter storm safety information is available at redcross.org/nh. Outage updates for customers and information on how Unitil restores power are available at unitil.com.