State Emergency Operations Center Update

Staff Writer

WATERBURY, VT - The Vermont State Emergency Operations Center has activated to assist communities and individuals during extended power outages and cold. Representatives from state agencies, the National Guard, American Red Cross, utilities, and support agencies are working to coordinate resources for communities.
Individual towns, Vermont Emergency Management, and the Red Cross are assessing the need for shelters in areas impacted by extended power outages. Utilities are providing those entities with projected restoration times to aid in that assessment.
There are currently no know shelters open - communities may have opened local warming or overnight facilities. Should there be no local shelter, individuals can call 2-1-1 to find a facility, or to report their current need. That information is shared with VEM to help determine the areas of greatest need for warming or overnight accommodations. To find an open shelter you can also visit the Vermont Emergency Management website at www.vem.vermont.gov.
Other safety information:
* Check on neighbors, particularly those who are elderly or have functional needs.
* Carbon Monoxide (CO) can be deadly. Install at least one CO alarm with a battery backup near sleeping areas and on each level of your home. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach and vomiting. Go outside immediately to get fresh air, then dial 9-1-1 if your CO alarm goes off or you suspect CO poisoning.
* Ensure all heating vents are clear of snow - particularly those that are close to the ground - to avoid CO buildup in the home.
* Never use a generator indoors. Only use a generator outside away from windows and doors where gas can vent into the home.
* Take frequent breaks while shoveling snow.
* Slow down on the road; allow sufficient space between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you. Respect all detours and road closures.

For safety information visit http://www.healthvermont.gov/environment/climate/winter-weather.

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