Summer Storms and Other Shelter Needs

According to Ready.gov how to shelter depends on the hazard you are sheltering from.
I’ll use two hazards from our Multi-hazard Mitigation Plan: Tornado/Wind Storm and Hazardous Materials.
During a tornado we all know that you should shelter in a basement, or on the lowest level away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Practice this with your family so everyone knows that when your NOAA all hazard radio announces a tornado warning, you all head for the designated shelter area. I personally recommend having items ready to grab on days when storms are forecast. Put entertainment items such as books or games, snack items and water on the steps leading down to the shelter. That way you don’t have to search for them and you’ll have something to do while you wait out the storm.

For hazardous materials release we still shelter indoors but you would take extra precautions to keep the contamination from getting into your home.
Here is information from Ready.gov on SEALING A ROOM.
As always, pass this information along to friends, neighbors, family. Do drills to make these actions routine. You never know what calamity could strike, when. STAY SAFE!

Controlled Burn Procedures

 

Cavalier County has issued the following procedures for landowners, contractors, equipment operators, and outdoor enthusiasts when engaged in open area controlled burning situations.  


 The following procedures are to ensure that open burning is coordinated with the proper authorities for maximum safety to both people and property.

  1. Contact the Cavalier County Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) at 256-2555 before a controlled open burn is started so that emergency responders are not dispatched for reports of fire, when in fact it is a controlled burn.  Be prepared to give your name, contact number, location of the controlled burn and anticipated duration of the burn.  After the burning is completed and the fire is out, contact the PSAP again at 256-2555 to inform them of the completion. PLEASE DO NOT burn when the fire danger index is VERY HIGH, EXTREME OR WHEN THERE IS A RED FLAG WARNING. Contact your fire district chief when doing a controlled burn also, the list of chiefs is available here.


  2. Controlled burns need to be physically manned and monitored at all times.  Once the fire has been started, do not leave the site unattended until the fire is completely out.


  3. Be prepared if the fire gets out of hand!  Call 9-1-1 immediately and have resources available to mitigate the effects (e.g. tractor, digger, shovels, etc.).

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  4. A recreational fire can be an enjoyable outdoor activity when conducted safely. When burning a recreational fire on your property, remember to be a good neighbor. You are responsible for keeping your family, your friends, neighbors and children safe. The intent of these guidelines is to prevent fire hazards and ensure that your recreational fire is safe and enjoyable.

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  5. What is the correct size and location for my recreational fire?
    Recreational fires shall be limited in size to 3-feet-wide by 3-feet-high and must be at least 25 feet from any combustible structures such as homes, sheds, decks or fences.
    Exception: Portable, screened fire vessels may be used within 25 feet of combustible structures provided they are positioned at a safe distance from said structures, located on anon-combustible surface (i.e.patio, driveway or bare ground), and the fire conforms to the 3×3-feet size limitation.
    The fire must be located on your own property. A responsible adult must be present at all times.

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  6. What can I burn in my recreational fire?
    Only wood, minimum 1-inch in diameter may be burned. Prohibited items include: brush, yard waste, treated or
    painted lumber, trash or rubbish.
    A means of controlling or extinguishing the fire must be available at all times, such as a garden hose or shovel, and
    loose dirt.
    The fire must be completely extinguished when unattended.

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You are urged to check the North Dakota Fire Danger Rating prior to any controlled burn.  This information and current fire danger ratings are available on the following Web site:

Fire Danger Map

 

SAFETY FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON

http://www.cdc.gov/Features/RoadSafety/

Keep you and your loved ones safe, see tips from the Center for Disease Control at the above link

WE AT CAVALIER COUNTY, WOULD LIKE TO WISH EVERY ONE A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON!

Cavalier County Emergency Management and 911

HOW DOES COLD AFFECT YOUR HEART?

It’s important to know how cold weather can affect your heart, especially if you have cardiovascular disease.

Many people don’t realize how much they exert themselves when they are not conditioned for it simply by walking through snow. Even those that are accustomed to being outdoors in winter can accidentally suffer hypothermia if certain precautions are not taken.

Hypothermia means the body temperature has fallen below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It occurs when your body can’t produce enough energy to keep the internal body temperature warm enough. It can kill you. Heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia. Symptoms include lack of coordination, mental confusion, slowed reactions, shivering and sleepiness.

Children, our elderly and those with heart disease are at higher risk. As we age we seem to become almost immune to feeling moderately cold conditions, we can suffer hypothermia without realizing the danger.

People with heart disease often suffer chest pain or discomfort when they’re in cold weather. Some studies suggest that harsh winter weather may increase a person’s risk of heart attack due to overexertion.

It’s not just cold temperatures, high winds, snow and dampness can also cause the body to lose warmth. Wind is especially dangerous, because it removes the layer of heated air from around your body. Similarly, dampness causes the body to lose heat faster than it would at the same temperature in drier conditions.

To keep warm, wear layers of clothing. This traps air between layers, forming a protective insulation. Also, cover your head. Heat is lost through your head, ears are especially prone to frostbite. Keep your hands and feet warm, too, as they  lose heat quickly.

Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before going outdoors or when outside. Alcohol gives an initial feeling of warmth, because blood vessels in the skin expand. Heat is then drawn away from the body’s vital organs.

 

Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes from ND Rural Water

1. Determine the location of the frozen pipe. This can be done by touching or by running your hand along
accessible water pipes in the home while feeling for extremely cold spots. If a cold portion of pipe is
encountered; thaw it gently, preferably using a hair dryer. DO NOT use a propane torch, as it could
cause a rupture of the water line.
2. If you suspect the water line is about to freeze, check the temperature of the water. Do this at the
location of where the water enters the home. If the temperature is close to freezing, run a substantial
amount of water until the temperature increases. This could take some time. Showering and washing
extra loads of laundry will put the extra water to good use.
3. If you choose to leave the water in the home trickling, be careful! Leaving the water running at a
trickle can help prevent frozen water service lines. However, trickling water can sometimes lead to
frozen sewer service lines. In the past, water and sewer lines were installed in close proximity of each
other and often at the same depth. Trickling water in a sewer line can cool to the point of freezing if
the sewer line is cold. This could lead to the sewer service freezing shut and causing a sewer backup.
4. If you chose to run the water at a trickle, it is advised to periodically turn the flow of water up to about
a garden hose size stream for several minutes. The increased flow of water allows for a better
exchange of heat between the water and water service line/ground and also allows the water to assist
in heating the sewer system.
5. If the consumer having a freezing water issue is on a septic system, trickling water should be diverted
away from the septic system. Septic systems have a limited capability to accept excess water in deep
frost conditions. The trickling water could compromise the on-site septic system, leaving the customer
with more problems and expense. If possible, use a hose to run the trickling water to an outside,
acceptable area.
6. Electrically heating of water lines, using a welder, only works on metallic lines. It will not work if there
is any plastic or pvc piping in the service line. Care should be taken, if using a welder, as they have
been known to start fires in adjacent structures. It has also been found that the use of welders can
increase the speed at which cast iron or ductile iron lines corrode.
7. If the water service line does become frozen advise the customer to open one or two faucets. This will
allow the ice to have room to expand without damaging any other piping.
8. There are companies throughout the state that have the ability to thaw frozen services with a recirculating
thawing unit. If there is no one that offers this service in your area and you would like
assistance, please contact us at 1-800-349-6951. We will guide you through the processes of
constructing a thawing unit and its operation.

Winter Weather Home and Away

An emergency supply kit should include a three-day supply of food and water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and extra flashlights and batteries. Thoroughly check and update your family’s emergency supply kit and add the following supplies in preparation for winter weather:

  • Rock salt to melt ice on walkways;
  • Sand to improve traction;
  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment;
  • And adequate clothing and blankets to help keep you warm.
  • Ensure your family preparedness plan and contacts are up to date and exercise your plan. Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government, and ensure your home and car are prepared for the winter weather.

Finally, everyone should get familiar with the terms that are used to identify a winter storm hazard and discuss with your family what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued. Terms used to describe a winter storm hazard include the following:

  • Freezing Rain creates a coating of ice on roads and walkways.
  • Sleet is rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes roads to freeze and become slippery.
  • Winter Weather Advisory means cold, ice and snow are expected.
  • Winter Storm Watch means severe weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or two.
  • Winter Storm Warning means severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon.