Red Cross gives winter preparedness advice

Posted at 5:04 AM, Dec 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-23 07:04:49-05

The Red Cross is staying busy this holiday season, helping families displaced by house fires, which happens all too often during the winter months.

They're also hoping to prep Idahoans for weather emergencies and power outages, just like the one McCall saw this week. This week’s massive power outage in Valley County caused distress to many, especially those who weren't prepared.
"You really want to keep fuel in your car, primarily so that the fuel lines don't freeze. If you have very little fuel in there, there are pockets of air that can cause fuel lines to freeze and cause damage to your vehicles. Likewise, if you have food in your freezer, keep the doors shut as much as possible. A fully loaded freezer can keep food safe for 48 hours. Now if you're going to be without food for a longer period than that, definitely look at people putting their food into coolers with ice. They are better sealed and will actually keep the food better, longer,” explains Christopher Davis, with the Idaho Red Cross.

Some of the basics that the Red Cross encourages having in case of emergencies  is a gallon of water per person, non perishable food, a flashlight, a first aid kit, seven days worth of medication, phone numbers written down, maps, cash, emergency blankets, and a battery powered or hand crank radio

"Some of those radios actually come with USB ports on them, such as you could use it to power and recharge your smart phone,” said Davis.

An item they hope people use properly are generators. They say they can be useful for a power outage, but used the wrong way, can be dangerous.

"If you have a generator in storage, It's fine to use it, just ensure that it's outside or in a very well ventilated place, and that the devices you want connected to the generator are connected directly to the generator, and don't connect the generator to your home power, unless it is done by an electrician. We don't want any carbon monoxide issues coming around,” Davis explained.

For a full list of basic items the Red Cross encourages you to have, click HERE