Sonora, CA– With another winter storm this week, the Tuolumne County Office of Emergency Services is advising residents to be prepared.
OES Coordinator Kathleen Rustrum says it’s important to load up on portable water, batteries, a battery operated radio, food that can be eaten without cooking, medical supplies, prescriptions, blankets, firewood, and a generator. Having at least a three day supply of food and water for every person in the household is also recommended.
“We’re also suggesting especially with the last power outages, that if people don’t have a regular phone that doesn’t need electricity to go out and buy one and plug it in during the storm,” said Rustrum. “That will be a way for the outside to get to you and a way for you to get to the outside, as long as the phone lines stay up.”
Rustrum also says cars should be parked out of the roadways and road right of way so that the snow plows can come through unimpeded and if you must travel, drive only with chains and/or 4WD.
Tuolumne County Health Officer, Dr. Stolp reminds residents that if they are without power for any extended period of time, they may want to either load up the refrigerator with packed snow in bowls to keep everything at a safe temperature, or transfer refrigerated items out into the snow in an ice chest to keep it at a safe temperature.
Dr. Stolp also cautions people who are using generators for heat to keep them in well-ventilated spaces. The same goes for camping lanterns that use white gas. Use only in a well ventilated space or risk carbon monoxide poisoning.
Finally, Rustrum says to remember those who live around us who may need special assistance.
“We are an area here that really watches out for our neighbors. I would just remind people to check in on your neighbors and if you know of anyone who is medically fragile or has special needs to check in on them. And some of these people may need to get to a lower elevation and need friends and relatives to help out with that.”