As we brace ourselves for the winter season, it’s crucial to reflect on the severe winter storm that hit Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas nearly three years ago. That storm was a wake-up call for many, as it was the coldest in Texas since 1989, leaving a trail of frozen pipes, impassable roads, and widespread power outages. For those living in the south, such extreme winter conditions were unprecedented, and frankly, many of us were unprepared for the challenges they presented.

In response to these challenges, FEMA has initiated the #WinterReady campaign, emphasizing the importance of preparedness.

“Winter weather can impact roads, schools, businesses, cause power outages and disrupt our daily routines. It can also cause serious health risks, so now is the time to be #WinterReady to help keep you and your families safe,” Tony Robinson, FEMA Region 6 Administrator, said. “This campaign isn’t just about being cautious; it’s about being proactive in safeguarding our communities.”

WATCH VIDEO: How to prepare for a storm

Preparing for Power Outages

One of the critical areas of focus is preparing for power outages, which are common during winter storms. Power outages can disrupt communications, utilities, transportation, and even medical needs. Here are some essential tips to manage during an outage:

  • Keep your fridge and freezer shut to preserve food.
  • Use generators correctly – outdoors and away from windows.
  • Don’t use a gas stove for heating.
  • Unplug appliances to avoid electrical surges.
  • Plan for medical needs that require power.
  • If it gets too cold, find a community location with power.

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Winterizing Your Home and Vehicle

Beyond preparing for power outages, winterizing your home and vehicle is vital. Install insulation and weather stripping, service your heating system, and make sure your vehicle is ready for the cold. And don’t forget to pack an emergency kit in your car!

Special Attention to Vulnerable Populations

FEMA’s campaign also highlights the needs of vulnerable populations, including the elderly and those with disabilities, who are particularly susceptible to the dangers of winter storms. It’s essential to have tailored emergency plans and kits for these groups.

REMEMBER! Being #WinterReady is more than a hashtag; it’s a community effort to stay safe and prepared. As we get deeper into the winter season, let’s take these lessons to heart and ensure we’re all ready to face whatever Mother Nature throws our way.

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