Don’t Let Winter Weather Throw You for a Loop!

BurstPipe2With more winter weather on its way, we want to remind readers of localized disasters last winter that involved CREST’s collections recovery efforts. The Yancey County Public Library had a burst pipe (left) during early January’s polar vortex and the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum experienced a roof leak during March’s ice storm. Please review for advice and be prepared!

Thanks to Laura J. Leonard, Community Outreach Coordinator for the N.C. Department of Emergency Management for this guest post.

North Carolina encounters unpredictable weather during the winter months. In early 2014 there were four winter storms within weeks of each other that dumped inches of snow, sleet, freezing rain or ice, causing an unprecedented number of accidents and school cancellations. Single digit temperatures were also reported in many areas of the state.

North Carolina can experience a variety of winter weather patterns that provide a mixed bag of precipitation because of its proximity to the Appalachian Mountains, Atlantic Ocean, Gulf Stream and Gulf of Mexico.

“Winter storms are known as deceptive killers because they cause power outages, downed trees, traffic jams and accidents that leave lasting impacts on the state,” said North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “Most deaths are not directly related to the storm, but result from traffic accidents on icy roads or hypothermia from lengthy exposure to cold. Three easy steps will help anyone get ready for an emergency: create a plan, make a kit and stay informed. Following these simple actions will help you be ready before an emergency occurs and help keep you safe.”

3 Simple Steps

  1. Write a plan, which should be a thought-out list of whom to call, where to meet and any special considerations that may need to be addressed.
  2. Build an emergency supplies kit. Besides artifact recovery materials and important institutional records – you should also include rock salt, sand, snow shovels for winter-weather-related disasters. Ensure a flash light, battery operated radio, extra batteries, and a first-aid kit are on hand.
  3. Pay attention to the weather forecast and stay informed about potential storms. The free ReadyNC mobile app also provides real-time information about opened shelters and riverine flood levels. A list of phone numbers for North Carolina power companies provides a quick reference so you can report outages. The app also provides basic instructions on how to develop an emergency preparedness plan. It is available for both iPhone and Droid devices.

During the cold winter months, be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning that can occur from improper heating. The colorless, odorless carbon monoxide gas can be deadly and is produced from fuel-burning appliances, generators and heaters. Without proper ventilation, carbon monoxide fumes can accumulate causing headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness.

To prepare your building for winter weather, add insulation to walls and attics. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows and insulate water pipes to keep them from freezing. Remember to keep generators away from the building and have a trained professional ensure proper wiring. Never run a generator in an enclosed area.

Enjoy the festivities of the winter season along with the peace of mind that your institution is prepared!




About collectionsconversations

This blog will contain posts from the C2C project staff on a variety of topics related to collections care and disaster preparedness. Enjoy the posts and let us know if you would like additional information or have a topic you would like for us to address.

Posted on December 16, 2014, in disaster preparedness, guest bloggers and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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