Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper is urging people across North Carolina to prepare for a significant incoming winter storm and has signed a state of emergency in advance of the storm’s arrival.
“This storm will bring significant impacts from snow, sleet and freezing rain in different parts of the state, with likely power outages and travel disruptions,” Cooper said. “North Carolinians should pay close attention to their local weather forecast over the next few days, and make sure they are personally prepared before Saturday afternoon.”
The Governor signed a state of emergency Thursday evening to activate state resources to respond to the storm and to allow for the possibility of Federal reimbursement if the event qualifies.
NCDOT crews and contractor resources will work to clear roads as fast as possible, but response times are expected to be slower than previous storms due to labor shortages impacting crews spread around the state.
Department of Transportation workers started brining roads Thursday in preparation for the storm and expect to complete that work on Friday. Transportation officials recommend staying off the roads once travel conditions deteriorate.
If you must travel during bad weather, State Highway Patrol officials remind motorists to reduce speed, leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles and clear all ice or snow from your vehicle before traveling. If you become stranded, pull off the highway, remain in your vehicle and call for help. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you can take shelter.
To prepare for winter weather, North Carolina Emergency Management officials recommend these tips:
♦ Always keep at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food and a supply of medication in your home.
♦ Keep cell phones and mobile devices charged in case of power outages.
♦ 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 generators are operated outside and away from open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Never burn charcoal indoors or use a gas grill indoors.
♦ Use a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio or a weather alert app on your phone to receive emergency weather alerts.
♦ Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, sand/salt, blankets, flashlight, first-aid kit and road map.
♦ Make an emergency supplies kit for your pet and include medical records, leash and feeding supplies, enough food and for several days and pet travel carrier.
♦ Do not leave pets outside for long periods of time during freezing weather.
♦ With heavy rain and coastal flooding possible across eastern North Carolina, it is important to never drive through flooded roadways.