December 13, 2018

Winter Weather Preparedness

As the winter season approaches, the National Weather Service encourages people to prepare for extreme winter conditions by taking the following steps:

– Check your vehicle’s battery, antifreeze, wipers and windshield washer, ignition, thermostat, and tires.

– Even if you do not make long trips, put a winter survival kit in each vehicle–you may need it if your car breaks down or you have an accident.  It should contain a windshield scraper, jumper cables, tool kit, tow chain or rope, tire chains, bag of sand or cat litter, shovel, flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit, warm boots, coat, hat, gloves, and a blanket.  For longer trips; add extra clothes, sleeping bags, a portable radio, high-calorie nonperishable food, matches and candles, and large coffee cans for sanitary purposes or burning candles.

– Keep an adequate supply of fuel for your home or get an alternative heating source.  Learn how to operate stoves, fireplaces, and space heaters safely and have proper ventilation to use them.

– Add insulation to your home; caulk and weather-strip doors and window sills; install storm windows or cover windows with plastic.

– Stock emergency supplies at home; such as flashlights, candles, matches, a battery-powered radio, extra batteries, and a first-aid kit.

– Monitor Internet web sites, NOAA Weather Radio, or local radio or television stations for forecasts and information about impending storms.

 

Know the terms used to describe hazardous winter weather and what actions to take for each situation.

A WINTER STORM WATCH means a dangerous winter storm is possible.  WATCHES are issued to give people time to prepare for hazardous conditions before they develop.  When a WATCH is in effect:

– Postpone trips or take a different route.  Put a survival kit in your vehicle.  Tell someone your schedule and route; call them when you arrive at your destination.  If possible, travel in daylight and use major highways.  Keep your fuel tank as full as possible to avoid ice in the tank and lines.

– At home; have high energy food or food that requires no cooking, one gallon of water per day for each person, and enough fuel for the duration of the storm.  Don’t forget special items for your family such as prescription medicine, baby formula and diapers, and pet food!

– Consider having elderly, ill, or oxygen-dependent family, friends, and neighbors who live in rural areas stay someplace where heat and electric power are available.

 

WINTER STORM AND BLIZZARD WARNINGS mean a dangerous storm will occur.

– Do not travel.  You are safer to stay where you are rather than risk getting stranded in a ditch.

– If you have no heat, close off unneeded rooms and wear extra clothes.

– Do not operate power generators indoors.

 

WIND CHILL WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES stress the increased risk of frostbite and hypothermia during cold and windy conditions.

– Stay inside as much as possible.  If you go outdoors; wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing and water-repellent outer garments. Cover all parts of your body; especially your head, face, and hands.

– When working outdoors, do not overexert yourself.  Remove damp clothing as soon as possible to avoid becoming chilled.

 

Additional information on preparing for winter weather is available from your county emergency management office, American Red Cross, or National Weather Service at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter/index.shtml

 

Wall Fire

There has been some public concern expressed over the Wall Fire. Below is a map showing the location and approximate size of the fire. This fire is a good distance from any structures.

Vineyard Fire Map

Here is a map of the Vineyard Fire in relation to Hot Springs as of this morning (8/14/2018).  Although there are structures within the fire perimeter we have had no reports of structures lost. Thank you to our firefighters for their hard work on structure protection.  If you are a landowner who did have loss or significant damage to any of your structures please contact the Director of Equalization’s office, 605-745-5136, so they can review the property.

Pre-evacuations Lifted

All Pre-evacuations have been lifted! The Red Cross Shelter has suspended operations unless further need arises. There will be a new fire containment report issued shortly.

Fire crews are still working in the area. Please help them out by avoiding unnecessary travel on Fall River Rd.

Mandatory Evacuations Lifted

The Incident Commander for the Vineyard Fire has lifted all the mandatory evacuations. People may return to their homes, however, erratic fire behavior means that you may be asked to evacuate again. If you decide to return home we would ask that you remain vigilant of the fire around you, stay out of the way of firefighters, and keep your bags packed so that you are ready to leave.

 

The Red Cross Shelter at the Mueller Civic Center will remain open for anyone choosing to remain evacuated.

 

Update: 8/12/2018  19:40