INDIANAPOLIS — Across central Indiana emergency management agencies are preparing for potential blizzard-like conditions and what to do when the hits.
“We’re telling everybody, don’t take it lightly,” said Dennis Ratekin, the EMA Director in Shelby County.
Ratekin is urging everyone in Shelby County to prepare now before the weather takes a turn.
”Make sure you have plenty of food, have plenty of warm clothing, if you have a fireplace make sure you have plenty of wood,” Ratekin said.
He said they are still waiting for more details on how much snow could fall but, his biggest concerns are high winds and freezing temps.
”Right now that is one of our main concerns, with the electrical lines getting as cold as it can be, the wind whipping them and then breaking them and your house losing power,” Ratekin said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Shelby County isn’t yet in the winter storm advisory but Ratekin said they’re still preparing warming shelters and supplies people might need.
”Getting food preparations to be able to feed whoever comes into the shelter,” Ratekin said.
A few counties north, Miami County falls into that winter storm advisory for Thursday night through Saturday morning. EMA Director Kris Marks is asking people to stay home Friday.
“If they’re talking blizzard or near-blizzard conditions, that alone ought to send out the red flags to you of maybe I shouldn’t be going out unnecessarily,” Marks said.
Marks said they’re anticipating power lines going down, crashes and slide-offs. He said sending emergency vehicles to these scenes will be on a case-by-case basis.
”If you’re local, don’t go out because if you get stuck, emergency vehicles are vehicles too,” Marks said. “You just don’t want to be caught out in subzero temperatures.”
If you’re heading out at all this holiday weekend, both Marks and Ratekin advise drivers to take it slow and give the car in front of your plenty of space.
”That’s the one thing we want, is everybody be able to see their loved ones and not get in a wreck and end up in the hospital over this holiday weekend,” Ratekin said.
If you’re looking for a list of warming shelters in Shelby County, Ratekin said they’re finalizing the locations Tuesday and will post the details on the Shelby County EMA Facebook page Wednesday morning.