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KEEPING THE STREETS SAFE

Ohioans are encouraged to take inventory of home’s winter weatherization needs this week during Winter Safety Awareness Week, Nov. 11-17.

As part of a coordinated effort with the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness, Gov. John Kasich encourages people to update their safety plans, replenish their disaster supply kits to sustain all household members for several days and prepare themselves and property for winter-related incidents.

“Winter Safety Awareness Week creates the opportunity for Ohioans to prepare their homes, schools, businesses and organizations for the upcoming months of potential severe winter weather and conditions associated with it, such as snow and ice storms, flood from rapid thaws and extended power outages caused by winter storms,” Gov. Kasich said in a statement.

To prepare for the upcoming winter months, officials recommend:

• Prepare your home for winter — Cut and remove low-hanging and dead tree branches. Ice, snow and strong winds can cause tree limbs to break and fall. Clean gutters and have auxiliary heaters, furnaces and fireplaces checked or services before using;

• Prepare winter disaster kits for the home and car — Refresh stored non-perishable foods and bottled water. Change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and radios. Winter emergency kits should include warm clothing, blankets, flashlights, new batteries, coats, hats and gloves, battery-operated radio, first aid kit and enough nonperishable food and water to sustain every family member and pets for several days;

• Invest in a NOAA Public Alert/Weather radio — Homes, schools and businesses should have a tone-alert weather radio with a battery backup. Weather and public alert radio are programmed automatically to sound an alert during public safety and severe weather events; and

• Update your disaster preparedness plan — Every home, school and business should have a written preparedness plan for the different types of disasters that may occur. Review plans so that everyone knows what to do in the event of a snow or ice storm, a prolonged power outage or a flood or fire.

The Ohio Committee for Sever Weather Awareness is an advocate for emergency preparedness and is comprised of representatives from American Red Cross, Emergency Management Agency, National Weather Service and other statewide agencies.

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