LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) On Saturday, grocery stores in Lexington were packed with shoppers grabbing last-minute items before Sunday’s winter storm.
The crowds filing in and out of the Walmart looked more like what you'd see on black Friday than the first Saturday of March.
But on Saturday, it wasn't presents that these shoppers were loading into their carts. Instead, the items on their grocery lists were the essentials-- the things they'll need when the winter storm sets in on Sunday.
Along with food, it's equally important for your family to have an emergency preparedness kit just in case you lose power.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following guidelines on how you and your family can stay safe when winter weather hits:
• Make sure you have at least one of the following in case there is a power failure:
o Cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries.
• Listen to emergency broadcasts.
• Make a Family Communication Plan. Your family may not be together during an extreme winter event, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together, and what you will do during an emergency.
• Be sure to check on older neighbors and family members; assist as necessary.
• Turning on the stove for heat is not safe; have at least one of the following heat sources in case the power goes out:
o Extra blankets, sleeping bags, and warm winter coats
o Fireplace with plenty of dry firewood or a gas log fireplace
o Portable space heaters or kerosene heaters
Cooking and Lighting Checklist
• Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns.
• Never use charcoal grills or portable gas camp stoves indoors. The fumes are deadly.
• Avoid using candles as these can lead to house fires.
• If you do use candles, never leave lit candles alone.
Food and Safety Checklist
Have a week’s worth of food and safety supplies. If you live far from other people, have more supplies on hand. Make sure you have the following supplies:
• Drinking water
• Canned/no-cook food (bread, crackers, dried fruits)
• Non-electric can opener
• Baby food and formula (if baby in the household)
• Prescription drugs and other medicine
• First-aid kit
• Rock-salt to melt ice on walkways
• Supply of cat litter or bag of sand to add traction on walkways
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• Battery-powered lamps or lanterns
(To prevent the risk of fire, avoid using candles.)
Keep a water supply. Extreme cold can cause water pipes in your home to freeze and sometimes break.
• Leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously.
• Keep the indoor temperature warm.
• Allow more heated air near pipes. Open kitchen cabinet doors under the kitchen sink.
• If your pipes do freeze, do not thaw them with a torch. Thaw the pipes slowly with warm air from an electric hair dryer.
• In an emergency, if no other water is available, snow can be melted for water. Bringing water to a rolling boil for one minute will kill most germs but won’t get rid of chemicals sometimes found in snow.