POMEROY — As potentially hazardous weather moves into the Ohio Valley and Meigs County in the coming days, local officials are reminding residents to stay safe and connected as much as possible.
Heavy snow showers are expected Wednesday and Friday in the Meigs County area.
Jamie Jones, Meigs County Emergency Management Agency director, said that the best resources for weather preparedness are publicsafety.ohio.gov. or visiting the Red Cross’s website. In the event that there is an outage in the county because of weather, Jones said local churches and fire departments can provide shelter for those who need it. However, Jones said a list of these locations isn’t available until after the necessity has arisen, as that is when specific shelters let Meigs County EMA know if they’ll be available as a shelter or not.
Jones also emphasized keeping an eye out on the weather during — as well as before — any potentially hazardous weather. He mentioned that some local buildings also have backup generators in case of emergency, including some local gas stations.
“If there are any problems, 911 is your main source for anyone,” he said. “And with weather like this, if the power’s out, check on your neighbors, especially the elderly.”
Frank Gorscak, Meigs County emergency response coordinator, said that about six years ago the Meigs County Health Department purchased a backup generator so the building could be used as a bad weather refuge. He also said that for local residents, the best way to receive immediate information regarding weather conditions, shelter information and other news was through social media or listening to radio station K92. And while it is typically used to alert only specific areas in town, residents can also call Meigs County EMA at 740-992-4541 and provide their phone number or email for Code Red, which can call, email or text alerts to those who sign up.
And when it comes to staying warm inside during colder evenings, Gorscak said safety is still key. For those who build fires, make sure the chimney flue is clean. For anyone using a kerosene heater, make sure air flow is coming into the house as exhaust from the heater can build up, causing carbon monoxide buildup as well.
For anyone who knows they will be traveling in winter weather, make sure to keep a stock of blankets, snacks and water should the vehicle get stuck. Gorscak recommended getting out of the car and walking only if an individual knows the location of the nearest occupied building. Keeping a full or nearly full gas tank is key in case a person needs to continuously turn their car on to keep heat going, and road salt or kitty litter can help tires should a car be stuck in a snow drift. Bring a car charger for a cell phone as well.
“It’s mostly common sense when preparing for a lengthy trip,” he said.
For more information, visit both Meigs County EMA’s and the health department’s Facebook pages.
Reach Lindsay Kriz at 740-992-2155 EXT. 2555.