The Woodward News

Local News

December 6, 2012

Weekend cold front bringing winter weather



Despite lack of any substantial precipitation, residents of Northwest Oklahoma may still have to be cautious of icy roads.

"If we get any moisture Saturday night we could possibly see some black ice Sunday morning, so that's something to watch out for," Lehenbauer said.

The emergency manager said that area residents may also look into taking other winter weather precautions.

"Most people have probably delayed getting ready for winter, just because of the warmer temperatures we've had and the fact that we've only had a few hard freezes, so now's the time to disconnect hoses from outside and cover up things usually left out in the warmer seasons," he said.

Other ways to prepare your home for winter is to take care of "any exposed pipes weather they be outside or under the home, now's the time to make sure they're insulated," Lehenbauer said.

In addition, he said to "Make sure heaters are operational. You can call any heat and air service company in the area and make sure they're functioning. I'd definitely test those out prior to the cold front hitting."

And while no severe weather is expected with this weekend's cold front to potentially knock out power, the emergency manager said people can still get prepared for the rest of the season.

"In case of any power outages, keep a few days of food and water on hand, a gallon per person is recommended. And make sure you have some way to safely heat at least one room of your house either through a furnace or fireplace or a generator," he said.


In addition to winterizing things at your home, Lehenbauer said it's important to make sure your vehicle is prepared for winter weather as well.

"We usually start getting into the ice storms and snowy seasons right around Christmas through February when it's usually the worse so now's the time to get a vehicle emergency kit prepared," he said.

What should that emergency kit consist of?

"Just basic supplies and things in case you break down," Lehenbauer said. "Something to primarily keep in mind if you were to break down while traveling is how you'll communicate. We tell folks even if you don't have a cell phone you can keep an old one in the car and still use it to call 911 with, so be sure you have one in the glove box as well as a charger for it."

Other basics to include in the emergency kit include "a blanket, flashlight, maybe extra winter clothes or a coat to stay warm, if you got stuck a small shovel or something to get yourself out with, and possibly some drinking water on a longer trip, which couldn't be stored permanently in the vehicle due to freezing, so just make sure you have some with you," Lehenbauer said.

The AAA organization has similar recommendations for winter weather vehicle preparedness, adding other important winter safety gear includes jumper cables, ice scrapers, and a first aid kit.

AAA also recommends carrying bags of abrasive materials such as clay based kitty litter or sand bags which can be thrown in the trunk or bed of rear wheel drive vehicles to provide additional weight. This will help the vehicle maintain traction and in a situation where your vehicle becomes stuck, the sand or litter can be used to help your vehicle regain traction.

AAA also recommends inspecting belts and hoses, topping off fluids, checking the inflation and tread of tires, and having a good strong battery, especially before taking any long car trips this winter.

Those planning on ignoring preparations for the upcoming winter weather, expecting it to pass and the unusually warm temperatures to return, may be disappointed, as Lehenbauer said, "We're expecting another cold front midweek and then one more towards late weekend."


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