(COLORADO SPRINGS) — A press briefing was held on Friday morning, Nov. 17 with Mayor Yemi Mobolade and local officials, who provided some tips on how to prepare for winter weather at home, at work, and when traveling.

The briefing was held at the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management, with leaders in attendance from the Colorado Springs Fire Department, Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD), and Colorado Springs Utilities (Springs Utilities). Springs Utilities focused on power outages and electric safety, as well as what to do if you experience an outage.

General holiday outage safety and prep tips

  • Have a backup plan if you rely on medical equipment that requires electricity
  • Do not use ovens, stoves, or camping stoves for heat to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Review instructions for your garage door or electric gates to you know how to operate them manually
  • Allow a kitchen faucet to run at a slow drip and open cabinets below the sink to help avoid frozen water lines in cold weather
  • If high winds are expected, secure outdoor decorations or move them inside- wind-blown decorations can impede service restoration efforts

Food safety following an outage

  • If food is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, especially dairy or meat, throw it out
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using refrigerated medicines following a prolonged outage
  • Keep refrigerators and freezers shut. A full freezer can maintain its temperature for approximately two days without electricity if left unopened

You can find more winter safety tips at CSU.org.

Fire Chief Randy Royal also provided some safety tips for when you have to travel during a blizzard, including extra food and water in your car, a shovel, blankets, and fuel. However, he urged the public to avoid travelling during a blizzard at all costs, to keep yourself and emergency response crews safe.

“We also are impacted by vehicles getting stuck on the road, where we have to get around those vehicles in our apparatus to get to people that need help,” said Royal. “Please stay at home, follow the advisories, and the key thing is to be aware. Prepare before the event happens, and make sure that your family is going to be safe.”