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By Daniel Wilson
The first real taste of winter is on us as we enter the middle of January.
Preparing for the inconveniences of winter should begin before the snow and cold moves in. This includes preparing for power outages, extra food supplies and alternative sources for heat should your electricity go out. A large candle can provide heat to a small room for several days if the room is left closed.
Daniel Wilson, Lead Forecaster of the Storm Alert Center based out of Russell County says, “These times are challenging for a lot of people, especially those who can’t fend for themselves, including the elderly. We need to check on one another and make sure they have ample resources.”
Another major problem in cold weather is frozen water lines. Most people wait until the last minute to insulate pipes before freezing temperatures come. While it may not seem logical, hot water pipes freeze before the cold pipes so both need to be protected.
“Travel on ice and snow is a major problem everywhere. In times where roadways are covered, if you are afraid to drive or don’t know how to drive on ice and snow, it’s best to stay at home,” Wilson says.
The Kentucky State Police encourages all drivers to create a winter weather kit that includes the following items:
A cellphone charger
Flashlight with batteries
Bottled water and/or snacks
In addition to these preparations, KSP asks citizens to refrain from dialing 911 for road and weather conditions.
“Dialing 911 for road and weather conditions can tie up emergency lines and hinder the response to critical situations,” said KSP Spokesperson Capt. Paul Blanton. “We encourage citizens to use our social media channels to access up-to-date information efficiently and allow emergency services to focus on immediate concerns.”
Wilson reminds people to, “Make sure your cell phones are fully charged beforehand. If you encounter downed power lines, don’t attempt to move or get near them, call the utility company.”