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Here’s how older Ohioans can prepare for the expected winter storm this weekend 

Published: Friday, January 18, 2019 @ 1:53 AM

The Ohio Department of Aging urges older Ohioans to prepare for this weekend’s winter storm, which is expected to cross the region this weekend.

RELATED: Winter Storm Watch: Snow, sleet, freezing rain expected to cross our region

The storm brings the potential for high snowfall amounts, ice accumulations and bitter cold temperatures that could lead to hazardous road conditions, utility outages and more.

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"An event like Winter Storm Harper presents significant risks for all Ohioans, but older adults can be at increased risk from the storm's effect," said Ursel McElroy, director of the department.

RELATED: YOU NEED THIS: WHIO Weather App

The department offers resources and advice for older residents to be prepared for severe weather emergencies:

  • Create an emergency kit that contains a battery-operated radio, a flashlight, extra batteries, drinking water, food that can be prepared without electricity, extra blankets and a first aid kit.
  • Check your medication supplies to ensure you have enough to last through the storm. Keep list of the medications you so you can share with first responders in an emergency.
  • Check medical equipment and assistive devices (such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, lifts and oxygen tanks), ensuring they are in good shape and are easy to locate in an emergency.
  • Know where main valves and switches are for utilities such as gas, water and electricity and make sure you can access and operate them.
  • Designate a safe place to go, such as a friend or neighbor's house, warming center or community shelter. Have a plan for getting there if it is unsafe to stay at home.
  • Ask a reliable family member, friend or neighbor to visit or call regularly to make sure you are OK. Have a plan for what they should do if they can't reach you.

RELATED: How fresh snow can affect temperatures

The Department of Aging encourages all Ohioans to check in on older loved ones, friends and neighbors before, during and after the storm to ensure that they have the resources they need to remain safe and healthy.

Visit the Ohio Department of Aging's website for more winter safety information and resources for the needs of Ohioans age 60 and older, as well as their families, caregivers and communities.