Beware power outages, carbon monoxide poisoning, state public safety officials say
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for all of Vermont from Thursday night until Saturday. NWS is warning of snowfalls of over 12 inches in areas of the state with greatest amounts expected over higher terrain, Mark Bosma with Vermont Emergency Management says.
The snow will be heavy, and possibly mix with rain in some valley locations on Friday, according to NWS. The heavy snow carries the potential of power outages due to downed tree limbs and utility lines.
Vermont Emergency Management is monitoring the storm and is preparing to provide resource assistance to communities and utilities should it be needed.
Vermonters are encouraged to prepare for the storm and exercise caution during and after the snowfall.
- Monitor weather forecasts.
- Prepare for power outages ahead of time, including where you may go to get warm or charge cell phones should you lose service for an extended period.
- For weather, road, or emergency updates sent directly to your e-mail or cell phone sign up for Vermont Alert at http://www.vtalert.gov.
- Plan travel accordingly taking forecasts into consideration. For state road conditions you can visit https://newengland511.org/. If you do travel give road crews plenty of room to operate – don’t crowd the plow!
- Check on vulnerable neighbors before, during, and after the storm to ensure they have provisions, heat, and are doing well.
- Be mindful of carbon monoxide (CO) exposure, it can be fatal. The initial symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to flu, but without the fever and may include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, and dizziness. Leave the building and call for help if you suspect CO poisoning. Common sources during the winter season include:
- Blocked heating vents. Ensure they are clear of snow, particularly those that are at ground level.
- If you lose power and use a generator, use it outside, away from windows or doors. Don’t even use it in the garage, it can still drift into living areas.
- Do not use alternate heating sources, many can emit CO.
- Have you checked your smoke and CO detectors lately? This is a good time to do it.
- Excessive snow shoveling can cause a range of health problems, from back injuries to heart attack, if not done in moderation. Don’t overexert yourself and take frequent breaks from shoveling: https://www.healthvermont.gov/environment/climate/winter-weather
- If you lose power and need a place to warm up call either your town or Vermont 211 to find warming centers or shelters – if there are any.
For a complete list of winter weather resources visit: https://vem.vermont.gov/news/winter-safety-resources
State road information: https://newengland511.org/