By: Valerie Valcour
We have had our first reality check of the coming winter season. With the first snow of the season, I am reminded of the importance of creating my winter safety plan for this year.
What always comes to my mind first is getting my car ready for the winter. When will I put on my snow tires? Do I have a blanket, water, granola bars, window scraper and shovel in the trunk?
What about my house? What will I do if I lose power for an extended amount of time? What if I get snowed in? Are my older family members set up for an extended power outage?
These are all things we need to plan for now and communicate with our family and friends. The Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security has a website with helpful tips to creating your Winter Safety plan. Check it out here.
Planning is the key to being prepared. Creating a plan with your family and workplace is the first step. This plan can include:
- what to do in various situations, such as an extended power outage or deep snow or ice,
- what you will do about your pets,
- which important documents should be protected from floodwaters,
- what medications you should have with you, and
- where you will store non-perishable foods and water.
You can find a checklist for your planning here.
Communicating your plan is the next step. Be sure all the people who need to know your plan have a copy of it and know how to reach in you in an emergency.
Vermont Emergency Management has many ways to help us stay informed about all hazard or emergency events:
- You can sign up for emergency alerts at www.vtalert.gov
- You can download the Vermont 2-1-1 mobile app at www.vermont211.org
- For folks with special medical or physical needs, they can register on the Citizens Registry in Case of Emergency (CARE), here: www.vermont211.org/disaster-preparedness-temp-page.
Don’t let this winter take you by surprise. Be prepared. You can always contact your local Vermont Department of Health, 802-888-7447 for more information.
Valerie Valcour is a Public Health Nurse and specializes in chronic disease prevention and emergency preparedness at the community level for the Department of Health in Morrisville. Valerie has lived in Lamoille County most of her life. She graduated from People’s Academy in 1983 and worked as a nurse at Copley Hospital for several years. In addition to her work, she volunteers as a board member of both Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley and the Lamoille County Planning Commission.