Emergency Numbers: 911
Conyers Police: 770-483-6600
Rockdale Sheriffs Dept: 770-278-8000
Senior Center: 770-278-7230
To prepare for winter weather:
• Stock up before the storm - make a storm preparation kit
Manual can opener
First aid kit
Radio with batteries
Disposable plates, utensils and cups
Canned fruits and vegetables
Cookies, crackers and snacks
Pet food (if applicable)
• Stay away from downed power lines
• If power goes out, try to keep refrigerator door closed as much as possible to keep food cold
• Never leave space heaters unattended
• Don't use your stove or cooking elements as a heater
• Use caution when cooking by keeping your robes, blankets, long sleeves away from stove and cooking elements
• Bring pets in doors
• Keep cell phone charged (if applicable)
• To avoid frozen pipes, put faucets on a slow drip and keep cabinet doors
• Stay in touch with family, friends and neighbors by phone
• Use shelf stable meal provided by Senior Center
• Keep emergency numbers handy and contact local authorities in case of emergency
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency is urging state residents to prepare for bone-chilling temperatures and snow.
Georgia is not usually prone to extreme snow and ice so even small amounts can cause severe problems. "With recent temperatures at or below freezing and a chance of snow this week, I strongly urge Georgians to prepare now for winter weather," said Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) Director Charley English.
Meteorologists with the National Weather Service (NWS) consider winter weather a "deceptive killer" because most deaths relate indirectly to these storms. About 70 percent of ice and snow-related injuries result from automobile accidents. Extreme cold can also cause frostbite, which damages body tissue, and hypothermia, which occurs when the body temperature drops below 95 degrees. Both can cause serious injury or even death.
GEMA advises residents to be ready when severe winter weather threatens. A key part of preparedness involves having a Ready kit that contains the supplies individuals and families need to survive for a minimum of three days. It contains bottled water, non-perishable foods for your family and pets, sleeping bags or bedding, extra clothes, medicine, flashlights, a battery-powered NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, and a manual can opener.
It is also wise to consider having at least two emergency supply kits, one full kit at home and a smaller kit in your vehicle.
Rockdale Senior Services has distributed two "shelf-stable" meals to all the senior center members and homebound members in preparation for , according to Jackie Lunsford, director of the Parks and Recreation and Senior Services divisions.
For your car, you should have some extra water and non-perishable food, warm blankets, extra clothes and gloves, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit, and a bag of abrasive material, such as sand, salt or cat litter, for added traction if you get stuck on the road.
Also, have a mechanic fully winterize your vehicle, keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid condensation or ice in the tank and fuel lines, and your check tire pressure, battery voltage, belts and hoses, spark plugs, and fluids, such as engine coolant.
Make sure your pets have a warm, dry place to stay, with plenty of food and water.
Bring outdoor cats and dogs inside during cold spells, even if it is in the garage, recommends Animal Control director Ciji Baker.
Also, cats that sleep outside often crawl inside of cars and engines to sleep, and can be killed if the engine is started while they're inside. Baker recommends making some noise by banging on the hood of your car before starting up the engine to give them time to wake up and get out.
"When you're bringing in your dog from walks, make sure you wipe off the legs, stomach, and feet with a towel," he said. During the winter, there might be salt and antifreeze in the snow and water on the ground. "They step in these products and their first reaction is to lick their paws" and ingest these poisonous substances, he said.
In addition, make sure your home is well insulated. Put weather stripping around your doors and windows, insulate pipes and allow faucets to drip a little during below freezing weather to avoid frozen pipes and open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.
If you don't need to go out, stay home. If you must drive, slow down, don't tailgate, and keep both hands on the wheel. If you lose control, don't slam on your brakes. If you start to spin, steer in the direction of the spin until your vehicle comes to a stop.
To learn how to prepare for winter weather and other disasters, visit www.ready.ga.gov.