Take precautions during winter months

Tuesday, January 1, 2013
(Submitted Photo) The Country Porch Convenience Store in Dugger will not be able to sell gasoline for a few days, due to damage sustained during the snowy conditions. The awning over the gas pumps folded in half due to the weight of the snow. Store manager Patti Danner said the awning started to show signs of distress after the first accumulation of nearly 11 inches in Dugger last week, at which time they roped off the area to prevent any injuries. When the second round of snowfall hit, Danner said the awning folded. The convenience store will be using local businesses to get the issue fixed as soon as possible, Danner added.

Greene County Emergency Management Director Roger Axe offered several suggestions as local residents deal with the winter weather and snowfall.

With the several inches of already accumulated snow, Axe said it's important to be prepared when traveling.

Axe said when traveling in inclement weather, motorists should have additional clothing items and snacks in case they are in an accident or get stuck.

"If at all possible, stay on the main roads," Axe stressed.

He added if traveling in inclement weather, motorists should contact the person they are going to see and give an approximate time of arrival in case their cell phone dies and especially if they do not have a mobile device.

Axe said if an accident were to occur, the motorist should check to make sure there is no snow stuck in the tailpipe because it will cause carbon monoxide fumes to enter the vehicle.

If there is snow in the tailpipe, Axe suggested the motorist use an ice scraper to get the obstruction of snow or debris from blocking the exhaust.

He added, "They need to run their engine every 10 minutes for every hour, and don't leave the vehicle running. Break the window a little so you have air coming in, so there is no carbon monoxide inhalation."

Axe explained vehicles should not be warmed up in a closed garage due to the fumes.

"There is no event out there worth risking your life for. Keep your intuitions. If something tells them don't go, then don't go," Axe stressed.

Those who choose to stay inside should also take extra precautions when the weather reaches low temperatures.

"Older folks need to keep their houses warm enough and dress warm so hypothermia doesn't set it. They don't keep body heat as well," Axe noted.

He added family members and neighbors should check on the elderly who are not able to leave their homes.

"Neighbors should check on the elderly, even if just a telephone call just to ask, 'Do you need something from the store? I'm going'," Axe noted.

Axe suggested keeping extra food in the house during this time of year, especially non-perishable food items, such as canned goods or blocks of cheese. He added a manual can opener would also be helpful in case of a power outage.

"People should have powdered milk on hand. Mix in sweetener and vanilla, and that way you won't run out milk," Axe noted.

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