Dealing with the cold weather

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, December 9, 2015

We do not get a lot of intense cold weather in South Mississippi; therefore, creating a cold weather plan is not at the top of the list of things to do. But, we still need to know what to do if the electricity goes off when it is bitter cold out or how to pack for a long trip, just in case you are caught between home and your destination, in a freezing car. Always have the proper cold weather emergency kits at home and in your car.

A car emergency kit may contain such things as a blanket(s) for warmth, small first aid kit, cell phone charger, gallon of distilled water, extra flashlight with batteries, jumper cables, reflectors, and some protein or snack bars.  If you know a winter storm is coming, then fill up and stock up.

Emergency kits for home may contain flashlights with extra batteries, candles (be sure to use the big candles – this can help in preventing them overturning or use the candles in jars), matches or lighters, tools that are needed to turn off the gas, water, and electricity, drinking water, canned food, manual can opener, first aid kit, and a battery powered radio.  Be sure you understand how to turn off the gas and water, if needed. If an alternative heating method is used, such as a kerosene heater, be sure to have proper ventilation, due to carbon monoxide and oxygen depletion. When using a generator, make sure it is kept outside and in a well-ventilated area.

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A check list of necessary things to do, before the cold weather comes, can be obtained on the Mississippi Emergency Management (MEMA) website. The website is

Being prepared before cold weather or any other incident occurs is just the smart thing to do. Mississippi residents that have been here all their lives understand what it takes to take care of themselves, their family, and their animals.  Residents that have just moved to the area or maybe have not been here very long may not understand the Mississippi weather – warm one day and freezing with ice/snow the next. The weather in Mississippi has a way of sneaking up on its citizens.

Do not get caught unprepared – listen to the local weather station and have a preparedness kit.

By Carolyn Nelson.