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With this last storm system and another one on the way this weekend, take advantage of the next few quiet days to regroup and prepare for the next storm system.

Home preparedness tips:

  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms installed in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Test them monthly.
  • Make sure you have working CO alarms installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Test them monthly. If your utility vents are located on the side of your home, make sure to keep them clear as snow accumulation can cause carbon monoxide to back up into the house.
  • Plan two ways out of the home in case of an emergency.
  • Clear driveway and front walk of ice and snow. This will provide easy access to your home.
  • Make sure your house number can be seen from the street. If you need help, first responders will be able to find you.
  • Be ready in case the power goes out. Have flashlights on hand. Also have battery-powered lighting and fresh batteries.
  • If you have a portable generator, it should be used outdoors in a well-ventilated area, away from all doors, windows, and vents. Do not run a generator inside your garage, even if the door is open. Do not use a generator in a wet area. This can cause shock or electrocution. Connect appliances to the generator with heavy-duty extension cords. Do not fuel your generator when it is running. Spilling gas on a hot engine can cause a fire.
  • Stay aware of winter weather. Listen to the television or radio for updates. Watch for bulletins online.
  • Check on your neighbors. Check on others who may need help.
  • Stay away from downed wires. Report any downed wires to authorities.
  • Be ready if the heat stops working. Use extra layers of clothes and blankets to stay warm. If you use an emergency heat source, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, and keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room and turn them off when you go to bed.
  • Know where your gas meter shed is located and keep it clear.
  • Have your furnace inspected and serviced by a qualified professional.
  • Have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional. Not cleaning your chimney is the leading cause of chimney fires from built up creosote.
  • Have a covered metal container to dispose of cooled ashes. To obtain a free ash can, residents may fill out an application, available at the Fire District Administration Office, 866 Oriole Way, Incline Village. If the required criteria are met, an ash can will be provided. Please visit our website for more information on our Ash Can program.

Sparky the Fire Dog says Look up!

  • Snow accumulations can fall and harm/kill you, depending on their size. Clear roofs of excessive snow and ice buildup, being careful not to damage vents and electrical supplies to the building. Clearing the roof can be dangerous so residents are advised to leave this work to professionals.
  • Keep all chimneys and vents clear to prevent carbon monoxide from backing up into the building. Some vents, such as pellet stove vents, may exit the building through a wall and are susceptible to being blocked by excessive snow buildup.
  • Be aware that a roof may collapse with little or no warning. The following warning signs could indicate that you have a danger of roof collapse. You should immediately evacuate the building and notify your local building official, fire department or contact a structural engineer to determine if the building is safe if you observe the following:
    • severe or new roof leaks.
    • cracked or split wood members.
    • bends or ripples in metal supports
    • recent cracks in walls, gypboard or masonry.
    • cracks in welds of steel construction.
    • sprinkler heads pushed down below ceiling tiles.
    • doors that pop open.
    • doors or windows that are difficult to open.
    • bowed utility pipes or conduits attached to the ceiling; or creaking, cracking, or popping sounds.

Look down!

  • Keep all exits clear of snow, so that occupants can escape quickly if a fire, or other emergencies, should occur. Keep in mind that windows should be cleared to allow a secondary means of escape in case the primary means of escape is blocked by fire. Keeping exits clear also allows emergency workers to gain access to your building.

Look all around!

Travel Tips (if you must travel):

  • Store emergency supplies in your car (blanket, change of clothes, flashlight, food, water).
  • Carry a charged cell phone.
  • Keep ice scraper/snow brush.
  • Keep gas tank full.
  • Check national weather service, state department of transportation or local media prior to travel.
  • Allow extra time and expect delays, road closures or detours.

If you are caught in winter storm and/or stranded:

  • Stay with your vehicle and wait for help.
  • Display a sign of trouble to let people know you need help.
  • Occasionally run the engine to keep it warm. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow to prevent deadly carbon monoxide fumes from entering the car.
  • If more than one person is in the car, take turns sleeping.
  • Layer clothing to trap body heat to keep warm.

Helpful Contact Phone Numbers/Websites:


Look up! Look down! Look all around!