Erie County emergency management leaders want residents to be prepared for a potential winter storm Friday and Saturday.

The National Weather Service is forecasting freezing rain, sleet and snow starting Friday. Some parts of Erie County could possibly see a tenth to a quarter inch of ice followed by snow. The ice could cause power outages and tree damage.

To prepare for a power outage, residents are encouraged to make sure they have working flashlights, extra batteries and a battery-operated radio. People should also make sure their cell phone is charged, so they can keep the lines of communication open.

Other recommendations from emergency management officials include:

  • Get necessary food and medicine before Friday afternoon.
  • Use caution if using generators or alternative heating sources in the event of a power outage, as improper use of these can lead to fires or carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Fill vehicle gas tanks, as power outages prevent gas pumps from working.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel in freezing rain and ice. Motorists are reminded that if a traffic signal is not working, any intersection becomes a four-way stop.
  • Use Pennsylvania’s 5-1-1 system to track road conditions, by calling 5-1-1, visiting www.511pa.com or downloading the free 511 PA mobile app.
  • Follow local media and weather sources to stay aware of the weather conditions.

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