February 3, 2011
Cypress Creek EMS: public advisory on preparing for the icy weather.
Spring, TX, February 3, 2010: Cypress Creek EMS (CCEMS) is tenaciously preparing for the winter storms and strongly encourages the community to do the same. CCEMS has increased their readiness and initiated several activities in order to prepare for the winter weather event. In anticipation of the added strain on their service, and the likelihood the extreme weather will exacerbate pre-existing medical conditions and wait times at the hospital, CCEMS has instituted their disaster plan. Effective today, they have placed 4 additional ambulances in the community to assist with the increased call volumes as needed. They have also ramped up their staffing, including medics, dispatchers, and supervisors in order to assist with maintaining their levels of care through the icy weather that is expected during the next 24 to 36 hours. CCEMS is also partnering with several local agencies such as Harris County Office of Emergency Management, Harris County Fire Marshall’s Office, Coastal EMS, and local fire departments in preparation for the possible conditions from the extreme weather and cold.
CCEMS fervently recommends you to prepare your home and family. Protect your pipes, plants and pets. Conserve the use of energy for essential functions. The rotating power outages have been discontinued, but the state says conservation is needed. Prepare your vehicles (batteries and anti-freeze), restock your water supply and food reserves, test your generators and fill your fuel tanks.
The following are several considerations to help keep you safer:
Gentle, slow, and deliberate actions are the key to driving and personal safety.
· Treat all weather exposed surfaces as slip/fall hazards.
· On slick surfaces, walk slower, taking smaller steps, with knees slightly bent.
· Outdoor stairways, like those in most apartment complexes, are especially risky and can form/retain ice longer than ground surfaces.
· Be mindful of falling objects (iced over tree branches and ice accumulations on roof edges).
· Be sure to keep a hand on the door or car frame when getting in or out of your vehicle for extra balance (3 points of control is better than 1), if your hands are full, put something down.
· Reduce speed overall.
· Reduce speed well before a turn or curve.
· Gentle, slow, deliberate adjustments for acceleration.
· Following distance should increase to 8-10 seconds.
· Keep 3-5 vehicle lengths distance between you and those in front of you.
· Braking distance should be exaggerated.
· Make gentle, slow, deliberate adjustments when turning and driving through curves.
· Gentle, slow, deliberate braking is imperative on compromised surfaces.
· Braking on ice = loss of control.
· Emphasize braking before reaching icy surfaces.
· For Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) equipped vehicles, apply steady pressure to the brake pedal during the entire stop. ABS will automatically pump the brakes, if necessary, to keep the wheels from locking. Never manually pump ABS brakes yourself. Apply only steady pressure continuously until you come to a complete stop.
· If you don't have ABS, you should gently apply pumping pressure to your brakes during slippery conditions. Do not apply steady pressure to your brakes. Standing on your brakes will only cause wheel lock, and may result in your car spinning out of control.
· If you begin to spin, remove your foot from the gas pedal. Slowly steer in the direction you want the vehicle to go. If you are still skidding out of control, counter-steer until your vehicle is pointing in the right direction. Never apply steady pressure to the brakes.
Black Ice / Compromised Surfaces
· Bridges, over passes ice over first and the most.
· Light deprived areas (underpasses, shaded roads and sidewalks, etc.) are prone to develop black ice (ice not easily visible to the eye).
For more information:
When Seconds Count… Count On Us! ™
Cypress Creek EMS is a non-profit, volunteer-based 9-1-1 ambulance service covering 250 square miles of North/Northwest Harris County and responds to approximately 30,000 calls annually, serving an estimated population of 500,000 people.