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Winter safety tips from the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness

Every home should have a disaster supplies kit that contains at least the basics: a flashlight or battery-operated lanterns, portable radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, bottled water/juices, nonperishable food, manual can opener, and extra blankets for warmth.

Other items to consider including in the kit are extra prescriptions and items for babies or family members with special needs. Store an ample supply of items necessary to sustain every member in the home for at least three days, in case you’re snowed or iced in.

If possible, before winter sets in, invest in an alternative heating source, such as a fireplace, propane or kerosene heater, or generator - in case of an extended power outage.

Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to make sure coverage is adequate for the type of winter weather in your area. Learn what is excluded from the policy.

Make sure auxiliary heaters and fireplaces are adequately maintained and serviced. Many fires related to auxiliary heating sources are preventable through simple maintenance. Before installing a wood-burning stove, check with local fire officials as to codes and proper installation techniques. Do not store kerosene in a non-approved container or inside your home and be sure to keep flammable materials (walls, curtains, etc.) away from all heat sources.
During the winter, drain pipes if your power goes off or if you plan an extended stay away from home. To drain, turn off the water heater and main water supply, open all faucets in the house and drain the system by keeping the valves open. Drain all toilets by holding the lever down until the tank empties. If well water is used, the pump’s electric switch should be shut off and the pressure tank and system should be drained.

To read more from and about the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness, click here.

Share your winter safety information with family & friends

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Winter Safety Tips for Your Home

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Cold Weather Health Tips for Seniors

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Cold Weather Safety for Schools

Winter Weather Safety Goes to School

Welcome to Portage Prepares, your local resource for information on how to respond in emergencies

Portage Prepares is a county-wide, long-term education program for preparing sectors of the county’s communities to meet the challenges of weather, disasters, health emergencies and other types of incidents in order to be safe, reduce risks of injury and reduce property destruction.

Who will find this site useful:

  •  Individuals and families
  •  Schools, our university and colleges
  •  Older adults living in Portage County
  •  Community leaders
  •  Persons with disabilities
  •  Elected officials
  •  Community organizations
  •  Faith-based communities
  •  Organizations that provide care to persons with disabilities


Portage Prepares objectives:

  • To educate Portage County citizens about how to prepare for the challenges of major weather events, disasters, health emergencies and other types of incidents
  • To prepare citizens to be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours of an emergency and/or disaster






Safe from the cold; invest time in preparing

We're seeing and feeling some dangerously low temperatures in Portage County. Portage Prepares wants individuals and families to be safe when faced with the hazards of cold temperatures. Subfreezing temperatures can be dangerous and even life-threatening for people who don't take the proper precautions. It is important for everyone to monitor the local weather reports and take steps now to stay safe during times of extreme cold.

During cold weather, you should take precautions including:
Stay indoors as much as possible and limit your exposure to the cold.

  • Dress in layers and keep dry

  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who are at risk and may need assistance

  • Know the symptoms of cold-related health issues such as frostbite and hypothermia; seek medical attention if health conditions are severe

  • Bring your pets indoors or ensure they have a warm shelter area with unfrozen water

  • Make sure your vehicle has an emergency kit that includes an ice scraper, blanket and flashlight; keep your car fuel tank above half full

You can find more information and tips on being prepared for winter weather and extreme cold by clicking here.

Follow Portage Prepares on Facebook and @PortagePrep on Twitter.




October 2014

Fire Safety Newsletter

American Red Cross Fire Safety List

Prevent Cooking Fires

Smoke Alarm Basics

Electrical Safety

CO2 Safety

Heat Source Safety

Videos bringing the INFO RIGHT TO YOU!

American Red Cross

Fire Safety Tips for the Home

Workplace Fire Safety

Fires can be Delightful but Dangerous

Winter ready? Check that propane supply!

Older Adults at Risk in Cold Weather

Flood Safety Tips

Severe Weather including Thunderstorms and Wind

Tornado Safehouse

Tornado Loss Prevention

Tornado Newsletter

Deadly Spills at Home or Work—Get Educated!

Mercury, What you need to know...

Guidance for Cleaning up after a Fluorescent Bulb Breaks

Earthquakes Happen Everywhere!

What to Do in an Earthquake

Earthquake Guide for People with Disabilities

Avoiding Heat-Related Illnesses

Your Best Defense: Prepare

Fact: Lightning Can Strike Twice

Remember Fire Safety

Be Alert for Flash Floods

Tornado Safety Plan Can Make A Difference

Maintain Dams for Local Safety

Flu Fundamentals from Portage Prepares

Get Ready to Drop, Cover and Hold On

Resolve 2B Ready in 2013

Check back monthly for local Portage Prepares newsletters & other information.


Resources to help you PREPARE, SURVIVE and THRIVE.








Contact Portage Prepares: 

Portage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
8240 Infirmary Road, (Justice Center) Ravenna, Ohio 44266
Phone: 330-297-3607 Fax: 330-297-4569
*Toll Free 1-800-772-3799

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday



A program sponsored by
Portage County Commissioners


Portage Prepares is a collaborative effort of Portage County Commissioners, Portage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Portage County Health Department, Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County, Portage County Information Technology Services, media representative Bob Long, Kent State University College of Public Health, Kent City Health Department, Portage County Township Trustees represented by Randolph Township Trustee Susan White, Robinson Memorial Hospital and the American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties. Copyright 2013.


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