LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - With the East Texas area under a winter storm warning, officials from Gregg County and the City of Longview are monitoring the potential storm and are preparing plans for emergency response.
Residents are encouraged to take steps to prepare for the cold weather and the possible accumulation of snow and ice. According to Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary, "Even if this winter storm turns out to be minor, it is important for residents to prepare and respond in a way that is safe. So, we encourage everyone to prepare your home and check on any neighbors with special needs."
In the event that the weather does become severe, the East Texas Regional Command Emergency Operation Center will be activated to handle emergency response for the Longview and Gregg County area.
- Do not travel if road conditions are dangerous unless absolutely necessary.
- If traffic signals are not functioning, treat the intersection as a four-way stop.
- Check the road conditions in your area. Stay tuned to local news broadcasts for more information on roadway and weather conditions.
- Remove snow and ice from your vehicle before you drive, making sure the headlights and taillights are visible.
- Accelerate slowly. Increase your following distance.
- Brake gently in slow, steady strokes to see how much traction you have, and begin braking early when approaching intersections or stops.
- Approach bridges, shaded spots, overpasses and turns slowly.
- Never use cruise control in winter driving conditions.
- Use non-freezing windshield washer liquid.
- Keep our cell phone fully charged and in case of an accident call (903) 237-1170.
- Please check on elderly or disable neighbors to be sure they are safe and warm.
- Keep space heaters at least 3 feet from anything (curtains, furniture, etc.) that can burn. Turn off space heaters when you leave the room or go to bed.
- Candles should be kept a safe distance from anything that can burn and should not be left unattended.
- Be advised that generators and alternate fuel heaters using propane and kerosene should only be used outdoors as they can present a carbon monoxide risk.
- When using a fireplace, please only use hardwoods and be sure that screens are in place during use.
Pet Care Precautions
- Provide a shelter for your outside animals, adding hay or straw to the floor of their shelter can make a huge difference by providing a layer of insulation from the cold ground.
- Fresh water should be available at all times. If you keep a water dish outside, remember to check it periodically to make sure it is not frozen.
- If at all possible, bring your animals inside during extreme weather conditions such as ice, sleet, and any extended periods of sub-freezing temperatures.
Home Precautions Inside and Outside
- Wrap outside faucets. Wrap pipes in crawl spaces, under porches, garages and any pipes that have frozen in the past. Wrap pipe with dry newspapers, then cover newspapers with plastic (may use plastic garbage bags), and secure with string or wire. Commercially manufactured coverings are also sold at hardware and plumbing stores. Remove and store garden hoses.
- Open cabinet doors under sinks to give pipes next to outside walls exposure to warm air.
- Find the faucet farthest from the main water line and allow it to drip cold water at a very slow rate in order to keep water moving through the pipes.
- Thaw frozen pipes as soon as possible by wrapping with rags and pouring hot water over the rags. Call a plumber or capable handyman to thaw pipes or to replace broken pipes.
- To report a water or sewer emergency, call 903-236-3030.