January’s record snow fall has made it extremely difficult for police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel to locate houses when residents need help. Mail boxes, which frequently are the only place where house numbers are displayed, are often buried or missing. House numbers on structures may be obscured and cannot be seen from the road during heavy snow periods.
has the following recommendations to help residents make sure that they can be located quickly in the event of an emergency:
- If you have called 911 because you need police or emergency medical help, have someone watch the road for arriving emergency personnel, and blink a front porch light or a bright front room light on and off repeatedly to attract attention. In the event the 911 dispatcher has directed that the house be evacuated because of fire or some other life-threatening emergency, use a flashlight or your car’s headlights in your driveway to help guide emergency responders to your house.
- Before you have an actual emergency, make every effort to ensure that a house number is visible from the road. Temporary signs made of plywood or even cardboard mounted on a stake or tool handle and stuck in the snow can help guide emergency responders when normal house numbers are obscured. Some residents have even spray-painted their house numbers on a snow bank!
Additional snow and ice accumulations are predicted over the next couple days. This precipitation has the potential to severely overload roofs, particularly those which are flat or near-flat. Residents should be alert for any signs of structural failure, such as unusual noises or visible sagging.
The fire department does not provide assistance in shoveling roofs. Residents who are concerned about removing excess snow load should contact a local roofing contractor or home repair professional.