Snow Storm Safety Tips

Photo by Kelly Sikkema 

The U.S. Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for our area. Rain will begin on Wednesday then turn to snow overnight. Depending on how fast temperatures drop, there could be freezing rain, creating ice on power lines and trees. Snow will fall overnight Wednesday through Thursday and into Friday morning, according to latest reports. Snowfall is estimated at 9-14 inches, but could go as high as 20 inches. Please stay safe. The following tips may help you be better prepared.

Get ready

Charge cell phones, computers and other devices.

Locate flashlights, batteries.

Stock up on necessities – medications, nonperishable food, bottled water.

Reporting emergencies

Life threatening emergencies, including electrical contact or entrapment, should be reported directly to 911. Dispatchers are trained to assess these situations.

Reporting a power outage at your home or business (source: Ohio Edison)
If you lose power, contact Ohio Edison (not the police department):

  • Call Outage Reporting Line at 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877)
  • Visit from your desktop computer, laptop or mobile device
  • Text OUT to 544487 (LIGHTS)

Customers with a communications disability can contact the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) at 711 to report an outage. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Life and limb emergencies, such as an electrical contact or entrapment, should be reported directly to 911. Dispatchers are trained to assess the situation and contact Ohio Edison to respond.

Avoid possible carbon monoxide poisoning

Never operate a generator or gas grill inside your home or near a window.

Never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven. (source:

Food safety

Keep fridge and freezer doors shut.

If power is out more than a few hours, you can move perishable food to coolers in unheated garages or outside to keep cold or frozen.

Preventing frozen pipes

Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household cleaners out of the reach of children.

When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing. (course: American Red Cross)

If you’re concerned your pipes may freeze, shut off the main water valve in your home and open all the faucets until the pipes are empty. If you don’t know where the main shut-off valve is, find out before the next storm hits. (source: Bob Villa)

Stay inside if possible

If you must go out, let someone know your destination, route, and expected time of arrival.

Cover yourself so no skin is exposed. Stay dry. If you lose feeling and color in your nose, ears, hands, or feet, cover the exposed area, avoid rubbing your skin, and seek medical help immediately. You may have hypothermia or frostbite.

When shoveling snow, take breaks and lift lighter loads. Overexertion can lead to heart attacks.

Snow Parking Ban

When snow is 2 inches or deeper, parking is prohibited on all streets throughout the city. This ban remains in effect until the snow stops and streets have been cleared. Note that the predicted severity of this storm may require multiple plowings of each street.

Fire Hydrants

SLFD requests that homeowners make every effort to avoid covering a nearby hydrant when plowing their driveways or sidewalks. In the event the department is called and needs to locate the hydrant, their job will be made faster and safer for all.