West Virginia

Department of
Health & Human Resources

Winter Storm Expected - Be Prepared

3/2/2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health is alerting residents to 
be aware of the approaching winter storm that is expected to impact many counties across 
the state. Preparing for a winter storm means understanding what you need to do in the 
event there are power failures and icy road conditions. 
 
“It is very important for families to have a plan for what they need to do if the winter storm 
creates power outages and dangerous driving conditions,” says Dr. Letitia Tierney, State 
Health Officer and Commissioner for the Bureau for Public Health. “Families will want to 
ensure they have at least 72 hours of food and water available, and review their plan for 
alternative, safe heat for their home in the event they lose electrical power.” 
 
Tierney said for those who must travel or be outdoors during the storm, dressing 
appropriately in layers is important to stay warm. Always remember to notify family 
members or others as to the time you are leaving and when you should be expected to 
arrive at your destination. Ensure you have plenty of fuel in your automobile and that your 
cell phone is fully charged. 
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports although staying indoors as 
much as possible can help reduce the risk of car crashes and falls on the ice, residents 
need to be aware of potential indoor hazards. Many homes will be too cold—either due to a 
power failure or because the heating system is not adequate for the weather. Additionally, 
residents who must use space heaters and fireplaces to stay warm, increase the risk for 
household fires, as well as the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Remember, never use 
generators indoors or use charcoal grills indoor. All gas, propane, and kerosene heaters 
must be appropriately ventilated to reduce the risk of injury or death. Candles should never 
be used for heating. Make sure you have batteries in your smoke detector and carbon 
monoxide detectors. 
 
Dr. Tierney suggests that families stay tuned to local media news reports to follow the latest 
storm information for your area noting that weather radios are helpful. Remember, when 
you know you are safe, take time to check on your neighbors especially those who are 
elderly or have special needs. In the event you have an emergency, call 911. Learn more 
winter storm safety tips at www.emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/duringstorm/index.asp.

 

Contact Information

Toby D. Wagoner, Public Information Officer, Bureau for Public Health, Telephone: (304) 356-4042