The Edmond Sun

February 3, 2014

EMSA urges precautions ahead of winter weather

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Health officials are urging residents to take health precautions like ensuring their prescriptions are filled before this week’s winter weather strikes.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for locations including Edmond, Guthrie, Oklahoma City, Yukon, Stillwater, Elk City, Chandler, Hollis, Mangum and Hobart for 1 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Snow was expected to start falling over far western Oklahoma around midnight then spread into central Oklahoma about sunrise Tuesday. The heaviest precipitation was expected to fall between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., NWS forecasts.

Accumulations of 1-3 inches of snow will be possible across western into central Oklahoma, according to the National Weather Service forecast. Roads may become slick and hazardous, and motorists should use extra caution.

The agency cautions that if you must travel, even small amounts of ice and snow can make roads and sidewalks slick and dangerous.

Weather impacts included canceling of the Oklahoma Multicounty Grand Jury’s planned meetings Tuesday through Thursday. No information was available about rescheduling.

It’s standard procedure for Edmond Public Schools transportation officials to drive neighborhood streets before making weather-related decisions.

EMSA’s medical experts say the health warning should be especially heeded if a resident has a pre-existing condition requiring regular medical treatment or one that could be worsened by cold weather.

EMSA spokeswoman Lara O’Leary said people usually don’t forget to get to the grocery store for extra milk, bread and other items, but often they overlook ensuring they have their regular medications or think about transportation to a doctor’s appointment.

“This is especially true if the severe weather ends up lasting longer than expected,” O’Leary said.

Edmond’s forecast included a slight chance of rain or freezing rain between 8 p.m. and midnight Monday, then snow likely with an east wind of 7-10 mph and a low near 27. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. Little or no accumulation is expected, with a new snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

Tuesday’s forecast calls for an 80 percent chance of snow, an east wind of 5-8 mph and a high near 33. Tuesday night, north northwest winds up to 24 mph and a low near 12 will create wind-chill values as low as -5 degrees.

A break from precipitation Wednesday will be accompanied with partly sunny skies and wind gusts up to 29 mph. Snow chances resume with 20 percent Wednesday night, 30 percent Thursday and Friday and 50 percent Saturday.

Bone chilling conditions continue Wednesday with a high near 16, wind gusts up to 29 mph and a low near 5. Highs will be near 18 on Thursday and in the 20s on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, when skies are expected to be mostly sunny.

EMSA urges residents to ensure they have three to five days worth of medications, to talk about appointments with their doctor, to seek warm shelter if you don’t have it, to check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to ensure they’re working and have food and water to last three to five days.

EMSA also urges residents to call neighbors, family or friends — especially the elderly or homebound — to ensure they are ready.

For more tips, visit EMSA’s online safety resource center at | 341-2121, ext. 108