Snow expected to hit Valley Tuesday; Georgia Power, AT&T advise

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 27, 2014 

Columbus could get one to three inches of snow Tuesday according to the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Ga.

Columbus could start seeing snow and sleet Tuesday morning.

NWS meteorologist George Wetzel said Monday morning, "The heaviest downfall should be Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night."

Snow is forecast along with freezing rain and sleet.

"Columbus is right in the center of the track of the storm system," Wetzel said.

There should still be snow and ice on the ground Wednesday.

The high temperature Tuesday should be 36 with a low of 25.

Tonight's forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of precipitation with a low of 26 and and winds of 10 -15 miles per hour.

Wednesday should see a high temperature of 38 and a low of just 19.

If you should lose power to your house, Georgia Power Co. recommends taking certain precautions:

Use non-electric unvented space heaters only in a well ventilated area.

Using a camp stove, fireplace or cooking fuel such as Sterno is safe, but never cook indoors with charcoal.

If you use an electric generator, plug appliances directly into it. Do not plug a generator into your home’s electrical system.

Disconnect or turn off appliances you were using when you lost power, but leave at least one light on to alert you when power is restored.

Don’t open your refrigerator or freezer if you can avoid it. Food will last longer that way.. If the door is closed, food will stay frozen in a fully loaded freezer 36-48 hours and 24 hours in a half-full freezer.

Georgia Power also recommends making preparations for bad weather:

Stock up on non-perishable foods, heating fuel and medications.

Fill your bathtub and spare containers with water in case your electric water pump or the local water system goes out. Have at least one flashlight, a battery-powered radio and fresh batteries handy. Help prepare older family members, friends or neighbors who live alone for the weather.

AT&T has some consumer tips for the storm.

Keep your wireless phone batteries charged at all times. Have an alternative plan to recharge your battery in case of a power outage, such as using your car charger to charge your device or having extra mobile phone batteries on hand.

Have a family communication plan in place. Designate someone out of the area as a central contact, and make certain that all family members know who to contact if they get separated. Most importantly, practice your emergency plan in advance.

Program all of your emergency contact numbers and e-mail addresses into your mobile phone. Numbers should include the police department, fire station and hospital, as well as your family members.

Track the storm and access weather information on your wireless device. Many homes lose power during severe weather. If you have a wireless device that provides access to the Internet, you can watch weather reports on your phone.

Camera phones provide assistance. If you have a camera phone, take, store and send photos — even video clips — of damaged property to your insurance company from your device.

Try text messaging. During an emergency situation, text messages may go through more quickly than voice calls because they require fewer network resources. Depending on your text or data plan, additional charges may apply.

Be prepared for high call volume. During an emergency, many people are trying to use their phones at the same time. The increased calling volume may create network congestion, leading to “fast busy” signals on your wireless phone or a slow dial tone on your landline phone. If this happens, hang up, wait several seconds and then try the call again. This allows your original call data to clear the network before you try again.

Keep non-emergency calls to a minimum, and limit your calls to the most important ones. If there is severe weather, chances are many people will be attempting to place calls to loved ones, friends and business associates. Exposing your devices to extreme cold temperatures for extended periods of time may cause your battery to drain faster, crack your screen, cause condensation to form inside your screen if you turn it on while it is still cold, and increase potential for permanent damage if you leave your device in “sleep mode” for an extended period of time.

To protect your devices, don’t take it out in extreme temperatures and if outside keep in your purse or pocket. Don't leave it in your car for an extended period of time and don’t take your phone outside to shovel snow or sled with your kids because not only do you expose it to the cold, but you have the chance of getting it wet.

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