Public Urged to Prepare for Strong Storm, Snow

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Forecasters with the National Weather Service are warning of the possibility of severe winter weather this week. They predict the strongest storms of the season will bring heavy rain and snow to Northern California, with the potential for snow on the valley floor.

The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office is urging residents to monitor changing weather conditions by listening to local media, update their plans and supply kits, and pay close attention to winter weather watches, warnings and advisories.

Image source: Caltrans.

To help ensure you are ready for winter weather, you can:

• Always keep at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food in your home.
• Check on the elderly and those who need assistance to make sure they are prepared.
• Keep fresh batteries on hand for weather radios and flashlights.
• Dress warmly. Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing.
• Properly vent kerosene heaters and ensure any electric generators are operated outside and away from open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Never burn charcoal indoors.
• Use a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio or a weather alert app on your phone to monitor changing weather conditions.
• Keep alternative heating sources and fire extinguishers on hand. Be sure your family knows how to use them.
• Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, blankets, flashlight, first-aid kit and road map.
• Make an emergency supplies kit for your pet and include medical records, first-aid kit, enough canned/dry food and water for three to seven days and pet travel bag or carrier.
• Do not leave pets outside for long periods of time.

Mountain travel is discouraged but if you must travel during bad weather, emergency officials remind motorists to inspect their vehicles before travel, carry snow chains, leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles and, if driving on snow or ice-covered roadways, reduce your speed. If conditions worsen, pull off the roadway and remain in your vehicle. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you can take shelter.

Due to Shasta County’s recent wildfires, residents are also advised to be aware of the possibility of flash flooding and debris flows in areas that have burned. Following a wildfire, the terrain is dramatically altered so even light rain can cause flash flooding. More information on flood safety can be found at https://www.floodsmart.gov/wildfires.

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