Officials provide tips on staying safe during major winter storms

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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) With a major winter storm headed to our region, there are some important things to keep in mind.

Officials say now is the time to prepare for the possibility of power outages and difficult travel conditions.

Emera Maine says: "NEVER touch a downed power line or a tree in contact with one. It is never safe to move lines out of the way or drive over the top of them. It is not possible to tell if a line is energized simply by looking at it.

Protect yourself and those engaged in restoration work by following manufacturer guidelines when installing and using alternate heat sources or generators. Be sure generators and space heaters are well ventilated, as these devices can generate carbon monoxide.

Keep flashlights and fresh batteries handy, and make sure you have a supply of clean water and nonperishable foods at home."

The Red Cross recommends:
"Make sure you have enough heating fuel on hand.

Stay indoors and wear warm clothes. Layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing will keep you warmer than a bulky sweater. If you feel too warm, remove layers to avoid sweating; if you feel chilled, add layers.

Check on relatives, neighbors, and friends, particularly if they are elderly or if they live alone.

If possible, bring your pets inside during cold winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water. If the animals are outside, make sure their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles."