With a series of powerful winter storms predicted to movie into the Eastern Sierra next week, Mono County Sheriff Rick Scholl wanted to remind residents to be prepared.
The Sheriff is not asking people to freak out or rush to the store and buy all the bread off the shelves, but he does have some advice for residents that may apply next week or any time during the winter season. Sheriff Scholl says that a little thinking ahead can make a big difference.
Basically winter storm preparation comes down to making sure you have the ability to lay low for a while. Power may go out, vehicle or foot travel might be sketchy, and your car may get stuck in the snow for a period of time even on the highway.
Sheriff Scholl says to make sure you have proper clothing, food, and water for a few days in case of sustained power outages or road closures. An alternate source of heat is also advisable but always be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning from certain heat sources.
According to the Sheriff, if you are stranded in a vehicle during a storm, stay put. Make sure your exhaust system is not covered by snow so as to reduce carbon monoxide emissions into your vehicle. Listen to one of our local radio stations for emergency broadcasts. As soon as conditions warrant, emergency services personnel will get to you, Scholl says.
Carrying tire chains in your vehicle is a good idea and usually required in bad weather. Chains will only get you so far however. If the wind comes up, visibility could be the issue. A shovel might make a good addition to the gear in your trunk, so might a sleeping bag, some food, perhaps even a book could be useful until crews can get to you.
For those that need regular medication, Sheriff Scholl says to plan ahead so if you are stranded in your home for 3 or 4 days you will have everything you need.
Most of us here in the Eastern Sierra are well schooled in what to do when bad weather hits, but preventable tragedy is always a possibility. As the Sheriff says, a little thinking ahead can make a big difference.