Shelter In Place Preparation Message for Citizens

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The following message was issued to Smyrna citizens and businesses prior to noon on Monday, February 10, 2014 and posted on the City of Smyrna website and News Roll with links to the information issued on the City Facebook page,, the City Twitter feed, the Nixle Public Safety messaging system as well as a request to Channel 19, Charter Cable to post links with recommended language. 

Winter Weather Preparedness Message to Citizens

(SMYRNA, Ga February 10, 2014) -- As winter weather advisories are issued for our area and as weather conditions develop, we want to take this opportunity to offer you information to assist in taking care of yourself for the duration of predicted icing conditions and possible power outages.

Below are messages issued through the City Smyrna Emergency Management team as well as other messages from outside sources where warranted. Please be aware of neighbors who may need assistance and be prepared to lend assistance if needed.

For the weather system that is approaching late Tuesday into Wednesday, significant icing is indicated. The best situation for you is to prepare to shelter in place. Be prepared to avoid travel. As always, if you are experiencing an emergency, please dial 911.

For Power Outages

Plan to stay inside and make it on your own, at least for a period of time.
If you have a wood burning fireplace, consider storing wood to keep you warm if winter weather knocks out your heat. (Also, make sure you have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year).
Winter storms are often accompanied by power outages. Always exercise caution when using alternative light and heating sources:
Use flashlights during power outages instead of candles to prevent the risk of fire, and have plenty of extra batteries on-hand. • Never bring portable generators, camp stoves and grills into your home; they should only be used outside. Keep them at least 20 feet away from your home's windows, doors and vents to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
People who depend on electricity to operate medical equipment should have alternate arrangements in place in case power is out for an extended period of time.

Learn how to keep food safe in an emergency (see message regarding food safety that follows). Stay Informed • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed of winter weather watches and warnings.

Also monitor commercial radio, television and the Internet.
Keep in mind that during a severe winter storm it could be some time (hours, or even days in the most extreme cases), before emergency personnel are able to reach you or power crews are able to restore power.
When freezing temperatures are indicated and exposure occurs, watch for frostbite. Warning signs include white or grayish-yellow skin, numbness and skin that feels unusually firm or waxy. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately. If medical help is not available, get the victim to a warm location and immerse the affected area in warm water. Frostbitten areas are numb and can be easily burned so avoid using heating pads, fireplaces or radiators for warming. Do not rub the frostbitten area; this could cause more damage.

Watch for signs of hypothermia, including shivering, memory loss, fumbling hands, slurred speech and drowsiness. If the victim's body temperature is below 95 degrees, seek medical help immediately. If medical help is not available, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first using an electric blanket and if conscious, give the victim warm, non-alcoholic beverages.

Follow directions from local officials about driving (or not driving) during snow and ice storms, and if you must drive, do so with caution.

Food safety in a power outage:

The following information is from the FDA website - FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (http://www.foodsafety.gov/blog/power_outages.html)

If your power goes out, knowing what to do with the food in your refrigerator and freezer can help you stay healthy. The last thing you need after a weather emergency is a case of food poisoning.

Be Prepared

Make sure that you have appliance thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer. That’s the best way to be sure that your food is safe after a power outage.
Know where you can get dry ice or block ice.
Keep on hand a few days worth of ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking or cooling When the Power Goes Out The most important thing to remember is: keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed!
A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if the door is kept closed.
A full freezer will keep temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full). If your freezer is not full, group packages so they form an “igloo” to protect each other. Place them to one side or on a tray so that if they begin thawing, their juices won’t get on other foods.
If the power is going to be out for an extended period of time, buy dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep a fully-stocked 18-cubic-feet freezer cold for two days.
When the Power Returns Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, or leftovers) that has been above 40° F for two hours or more. You will have to evaluate each item separately. Discard any food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture, or feels warm to the touch. When in doubt, throw it out!

These charts help you evaluate specific foods:

Refrigerated Foods: When to Save, When to Throw Out http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html •
Frozen Food: When to Save, When to Throw Out http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/frozen_food.html With frozen food, check for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40 °F or below.
Never taste a food to determine its safety!