Winter Preparedness Information

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Sheriff Joseph Dedman Jr.
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Winter preparedness Information
When wintry weather arrives, will your family be prepared?

Winter brings special seasonal challenges to an organized home. Winter storms can make navigating roads and walkways hazardous; power outages and snow days highlight any family’s readiness for cold weather.
Take time to review or make your family’s emergency preparedness with this Winter Preparedness Checklist. It’ll help you prepare your home and automobile for cold-weather hazards.Winter Fires:
The high cost of home heating fuels and utilities have many families searching for alternate sources of home heating. Wood burning stoves, space heaters, and fireplaces are common. These methods of heating may be acceptable, but they are also a major contributing factor in residential fires. Many of these fires can be prevented. The following fire safety tips can help maintain a fire safe home.

  • Be sure your heater is in good working condition. Inspect exhaust parts for carbon buildup.
  • Never use fuel burning appliances without proper room venting.
  • Use only the fuel recommended by the heater manufacturer.
  • NEVER fill a heater while it is operating or hot.
  • Be sure fireplace or stoves are installed properly.
  • Have chimney inspected annually and cleaned when needed.
  • Do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate any fire.
  • The wood stove should be burned hot twice a day for 15-30 minutes to reduce the amount of creosote.
  • Keep flammable materials away from your fireplace mantel.
  • Be sure not to overload the circuit if using an electric heater.
  • Be sure every level of your home has a working smoke alarm, and check them monthly.
  • Plan and practice a home escape plan with your family.
  • Contact your local fire department for advice if you have questions on home fire safety.
Before Winter Storms and Extreme Cold you may consider the following:

  • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways.
  • Sand to improve traction.
  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
  • Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
  • Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
  • Have enough nonperishable food and drinking water on hand to last for 72 hours
  • Keep a non-electric can opener in the house.
  • Make sure your prescription medications are filled.
  • Keep a battery operated radio in the house.
  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS). Be alert to changing weather conditions.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
Other information:
Apache County Engineering and Roads Department has a Snow Removal and Cindering Policy in place. Priority Roads have been identified and are listed in their policy. Once the priority roads have been cleared, the county will begin work on other county maintained roads. If a road closure has been issued, a “Road Closed” sign will be placed on a wind master sign stand and placed in the middle of the road. These roads will be checked to assure there is nobody on the road at that time.For winter emergencies check with the local news broadcast, listen to your local radio stations; go to for the National Weather Service; check with the Apache County Website at for emergency info and to monitor the Emergency Management Site which is located under “Departments” pull down menu. If a winter emergency has been issued, you can also call the 311hotline number or 928-333-3412. Online go to or check the Emergency Management Facebook site.
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