Winter is an unpredictable time in Pittsburgh, but the Borough encourages residents to be proactive and prepare in advance of any potential storms or disruptions that can be caused by loss of utilities. As recommended by the National Weather Service and survival experts, residents should be prepared for the potential loss of heat, power, water, telephone service or shortage of supplies if not prepared. Residents are encouraged to prepare now by keeping the following supplies on hand at home:
- Flashlights, extra batteries, LED candles (alternative to traditional wax candles for safety)
- Functioning smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors (with updated batteries) and fire extinguishers graded for residential use. Check to make certain they have not been included in recent recalls of fire safety equipment
- Cellular phones and chargers (to use in car should home power be lost)
- Batter powered NOAA weather radio/portable radios/GMRS/FRS handheld radios to receive emergency information
- 1 gallon water per person and pet in household. It is recommended a 3 day supply be kept in home at all times regardless of time of year
- Non-perishable food (that does not require refrigeration or cooking should power be lost).
- Extra medicine and/or baby supplies
- First aid kit and supplies
- Heating fuel and emergency heating source—learn to use properly in advance and have proper ventilation
- Salt, cat litter, or sand (to clear sidewalks)
- Supplies for emergency repairs such as duct tape, plastic sheeting and tools
- Full tank of gas in vehicle (to prevent freezing of gas line)
Residents are also encouraged to know in advance of weather emergencies how to shut off water supplies and power in home should this become necessary during a storm.
Inspect properties to determine any potential concerns such as low or seemingly loose utility lines and contact utility provider or have large tree branches limbed by trained professionals to prevent their likelihood of breaking and damaging property.
Residents should always check on neighbors particularly if they are elderly or disabled during storm conditions to ascertain their wellbeing and needs.