After last year’s unusually mild winter, it seemed as if the season was saying, “Hey, remember me?” as it made its blustery 2012 debut in Ashe county.
Driving through parts of the county Tuesday morning, roads were littered with small limbs and lined with drifts of snow and fallen leaves. Snow plows, line crews, fuel trucks and other commercial vehicles comprised the majority of traffic, and one could feel the tug of the steering wheel as high winds howled.
The first snow of the season acted as a reminder for Ashe County residents that they should be prepared for weather-related emergencies.
The Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation offers the public the following emergency planning tips to be prepared for outages like the ones that occurred earlier this week.
Keep the following emergency supplies on hand:
• A battery operated radio and fresh batteries for weather and power restoration updates
• Flashlights with extra batteries
• Water for drinking and cooking. If you have a well, fill your tub with water for flushing toilets.
• Nonperishable food
• Manual can opener
• Wind-up or battery operated clock
• Extra blankets, sleeping bags, quilts
• Paper plates, cups, and utensils
• A grill for cooking (with extra charcoal and lighter, or propane, depending on your grill). Be sure to use the grill, as well as gas stoves, outside your home in a well-ventilated area to avoid a fire hazard or dangerous fumes of carbon monoxide.
• If you have a baby in the home, be sure to keep a thermos handy for keeping baby formula warm. Also have extra diapers and formula on hand.
If your power is interrupted, you should:
• Report the outage by calling PowerLine at 1-800-448-2383
• Keep warm by layering your clothes and using blankets
• Preserve heat by closing off any unused rooms in your house
• Guard against spoiled food by refraining from opening your refrigerator or freezer doors
• Prevent a hazardous situation by making sure your range and oven are turned off
• If you use a portable generator, prevent a fatality or injury by making sure generators are safely connected. Back-feed into the utility system from improperly installed generators can harm or even kill a line technician who is working on power restoration. Improperly installed generators can also damage your appliances. Be sure a qualified, licensed electrician installs a double-pole, double-throw transfer switch to connect the generator to the electrical system. This is required by the National Electrical Code, and the generator connection must also meet local ordinances. Contact a licensed electrician for more information.
To view a live outage map at any time, visit www.BlueRidgeEMC.com and click on the “outage map” link located on the bottom right hand side of the screen. For more information on safety and preparation visit the “Storm Room” at www.BlueRidgeEMC.com. Information can also be found on Blue Ridge Electric’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/blueridgeemc.