ELIZABETHTON – With the National Weather Service forecasting that a major winter storm that will move through the region this weekend and early into next week, officials in Carter County are encouraging residents to prepare now as weather forecasts predict this region will see potentially significant impacts from the storm.
According to Carter County Mayor Rusty Barnett, the most recent update received from the National Weather Service calls for the possibility of “moderate to heavy snow accumulations” in the region. There is also a possibility for freezing rain, sleet, and ice with the storm system.
“We would like to encourage everyone to prepare in advance so if we do see a lot of snowfall they don’t have to try to get out and pick up supplies after the roads have become dangerous,” Barnett said.
To ensure residents are ready for this winter storm and any possible power outages, Barnett recommends they make sure their Emergency Kit is fully stocked.
“Be sure to have enough food, water, medicine, batteries, clothes, and pet supplies for at least seven days,” Barnett said. “Residents may also want consider purchasing battery-powered rechargers for cellphones.” Barnett also recommends residents should fill up their vehicle gas tanks and generators before the weather system moves in on Saturday. Residents have some cash on hand in case of power outages, as stores may not be able to accept credit or debit cards, Barnett said.
In the event of severe inclement weather, Barnett said on Friday morning he and Carter County Emergency Management Agency officials worked together to identify potential shelter locations.
“We have been working with partners in our community as well as the Carter County School System to have emergency shelters on standby in case people need to evacuate their homes,” Barnett said.
In the event a shelter is opened, Barnett said an announcement will be given to local media agencies.
“We can’t announce locations in advance because we don’t know what areas may be hit hard,” Barnett said. “We have to make sure location is safe and has the needed power before we can open a shelter there.”
Carter County has an alert system that residents can sign up with for free. The system allows users to select what type of alerts they receive and how they receive them, whether it’s by phone, text message, or email. Simply go to www.cartercountytn.gov/alerts to signup. Weather alerts are automated and are sent when the National Weather Service issues an alert for an affected area.
If you don’t already have Emergency Kits, you can go to this site for help in putting your kit together: https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2006/09/17/your-family-needs-emergency-supply-kit.