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      Tips to prepare for the snow, sleet and ice

      NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - With the threat of ice, sleet and rain come the threat of long periods of time without electricity.

      Bianca Bourbeau with the North Charleston Fire Department says the best mindset to be in is hurricane mode.

      "In preparation phase, think of what we do for hurricanes," said Bourbeau. "You have to have flash lights, you have to have batteries for the{} flash light, a manual can opener if you choose to, part of your food plan is canned, make sure you have manual can openers."

      Bourbeau says many fires are started by folks who misuse kitchen and cooking appliances.

      "They have the gas grill or you have charcoal or something like that you can actually use to cook," Bourbeau said. "But, the trick is, to leave that outside. Because you don't want the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and you don't want the additional risk of starting a house fire."

      Bourbeau also says for those using space heaters, placement is most important.

      "You want to make sure to keep that 3 foot of space between your heating unit and any other thing in the room that is combustible, curtains, furniture, clothing, blankets."

      Along with ice storms come power outages, and with power outages come a concern of phones and medicines.

      Bourbeau says it is best to have a phone that is not cordless or wireless.

      "Those old phones that just plug into the wall and don't require a power cord for anything, those are very effective if you have telephone service in your home," Bourbeau said.

      Bourbeau also advised that if you only have a wireless phone, limit its use for emergencies only to prevent from running down your battery.

      For patients on medication that have to be refrigerated, Bourbeau recommends contacting your pharmacist or physician about how long the medicine is still useable without being chilled.{}

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