Emergency Preparedness News and Announcements

Snow Emergency

CODE: PLAIN SPEECH/TEXT

Defined

Snow Emergency Classifications

Level 1: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Motorists are urged to drive cautiously.

Level 2: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roads. Contact employer to see if criteria for reporting to work. Motorists should use extreme caution.

Level 3: All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel or a personal emergency exists. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roads may be subject to arrest. Information taken from Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Analysis and the National Centers for Environmental Education.

Immediate Action

  1. Keep posted on all area weather bulletins and relay to others.
  2. Be prepared for isolation at the community.
  3. Re-check heating system/emergency generator.
  4. Check emergency and alternate utility sources.

Common Staff Assignments

  1. Travel only when necessary, and only during daylight hours. Never travel alone. Travel only on assigned routes.
  2. Properly dress if outside trips are necessary to maintain the facility, safety of residents, or report to work.
  3. Avoid overexertion by doing only what is required.

Specific Staff Assignments

  1. Conserve utilities – maintain low temperatures consistent with health needs.
  2. Plug critical equipment into surge protectors.
  3. Secure facility against frozen pipes.
  4. Retrieve extra blankets and keep residents as warm as possible.
  5. Make sure adequate staff is available.
  6. Keep flashlights handy, and extra batteries available.
  7. Set up sleeping area for staff who can’t go home after storm hits, or for staff that report to work prior to the storm.
  8. Review transportation plan to get staff to and from work. Facility trucks/buses? Volunteers with 4-wheel drive vehicles? Staff that have 4-wheel drive vehicles?
  9. Close drapes on cloudy days and at night.
  10. Be prepared to evacuate residents if necessary.
  11. Do not panic; remain calm.

Planning Ahead/Training

  1. Purchase portable/weather radio with extra batteries.
  2. Make sure emergency power supply is operable.
  3. Check emergency generator – Fueled? How much of facility is powered by generator? What is not included?
  4. Make sure emergency:
    • equipment and supplies are on hand, or can be readily obtained.
    • food supplies and equipment are on hand.
    • water supply is available.
    • extra blankets are accessible.
  5. Evaluate facility for potential dangers and complete needed adjustments.
  6. Identify potential fire hazards.
  7. Remove dead trees/limbs.
  8. Purchase chains/snow tires for essential vehicles.
  9. Review policy about staff reporting to work during a winter weather event.
  10. Review policy with all staff prior to the winter weather event.

See Also

evacuation, severe cold, shelter-in-place, utility outage

References

Information taken from the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Analysis, and the National Centers for Environmental Education