VT Department of Health and VT Emergency Management Issues Winter Storm Advice

From the Vermont Department of Health

Date: February 13, 2007

Contact: Communication Office
802-863-7281

Avoid Carbon Monoxide Exposure During Storms

The Vermont Department of Health wants to remind Vermonters that during power failures caused by a severe storm, generators used as back up power can create the danger of carbon monoxide (CO) exposure.

Steps people should take to avoid exposure include venting generators properly and leaving them outside. The initial symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to flu, but without the fever and include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, and dizziness.

If you suspect that you are experiencing CO poisoning, get fresh air immediately. Leave the home and call for assistance from a neighbor's home. For more information, read the Health Department fact sheet on carbon monoxide at http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/indoor_air/co.aspx

Get more information on winter weather and how to prepare from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/

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From Vermont Emergency Management

Date: February 13, 2007

Contact: Mark Bosma, Public Information Officer
Vermont Emergency Management
(800) 347-0488

Emergency Operation Center Steps Up Activation Level and Advises Vermonters to be Prepared

WATERBURY, VT— Because of a prediction of heavy snow and winds for late Tuesday into Thursday, Vermont Emergency Management (VEM) has stepped up its activation level and encourages everyone to check in on the elderly or those with special needs throughout the storm.

Infants and older adults are particularly susceptible to hypothermia, or below normal body temperature. Infants do not make enough body heat by shivering, and the slower metabolism of an older adult will not create enough body heat if exposed to cold temperatures.

Vermont Emergency Management encourages the elderly and those with special needs to contact their local power company and local community officials to alert them of those needs in the event of a power outage.

The National Weather Service in Burlington issued winter storm warnings for most areas of Vermont from late Tuesday night into Thursday morning. Heavy snow is expected to fall across the state Wednesday into Wednesday night, with accumulations generally of 12 to 24 inches likely. 

The snow will likely be accompanied by wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour.  These conditions will make driving difficult, and could interrupt basic services like power and telephone. The National Weather Service is also expecting cold temperatures, with highs of 15 to 20, and overnight lows of 5 to 10 degrees.

As always, VEM encourages Vermonters to be ready for this or any disaster by putting together an emergency preparedness kit, and stocking up on special items to cope with winter weather before the storm starts.

Some easy steps you can take to prepare for winter weather:

The Vermont State Police recommend the following safety tips for winter weather driving:

Before you travel

On the Road

Towns that may need assistance during the storm are encouraged to call Vermont Emergency Management’s Emergency Operations Center at 800-347-0488.

Regular press releases will be distributed throughout the storm updating the media on current conditions; your cooperation in informing the public is appreciated. 

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