What You Need to Know about Preparing for Winter Weather
Keep scrolling for Frequently Asked Questions and a guide for what to pack in your go-bag of winter weather essentials.
By Kaley Johnson
Winter weather is nearly here, and we are busy making preparations. In unsafe road and weather conditions, staff can stay at Cook Children’s after and in between shifts. We’ve made some changes to make sure you are safe and supported if you need to stay. Read this guide to make sure you know what to do in case of severe weather.
For those of you who work on the Prosper campus, requesting safe sleep accommodations can be made directly to the House Supervisors Office at 945-204-2914 or VOCERA.
For those of you who work on the Fort Worth campus, we’ve streamlined the way staff can request sleeping arrangements and other resources. Instead of contacting a Nurse Supervisor or Emergency Management directly, you can go straight to your manager or leader for that information. They will work directly with Hero Hotel (formally known as Hotel Cook) to determine sleeping arrangements on your behalf.
Requests for sleeping arrangements should be made no later than 2 p.m. for a day shift employee and by 2 a.m. for a night shift employee. That way, we can make sure everyone’s sleeping area is set up and ready for you. Managers are in the process of identifying every spot possible where staff can comfortably sleep. After your shift, you can head to your assigned sleeping area. Please note that your sleeping spot might not be the same every night.
We have also created a one-stop-shop for emergency supplies: the Employee Disaster Resource Center. The Employee Disaster Resource Center is located in the EVS Classroom 0210 in the Medical Center-Fort Worth basement across from Central Stores. Emergency Management there will provide air mattresses, bedding and other accommodations to make sure everyone has what they need.
As we’re preparing for winter weather, you should too. The best way to have what you need for an emergency situation is to prepare ahead of time. Make sure you pack a go-bag and keep it in an accessible place, like your car or work station. The go-bag should have anything you might need for an extended stay away from home, including chargers, toiletries, non-perishable snacks, meds and extra clothes. A good book is never a bad idea, either.
If you have questions, check our Emergency Management’s information portal on CookNet, which will be updated as much as possible. For further questions, talk to your manager and we will work with them to figure it out!
Your Go-Bag Guide
Next week, winter weather is set to hit Dallas-Fort Worth. Make sure you are prepared in case you have to stay at work after your shift due to bad weather.
It is important to prepare a disaster supplies kit before bad weather hits. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items you may need in the event of an emergency. No one wants to get stuck at work without a phone charger, pajamas or their toothbrush. Keep the go-bag in an accessible spot, like your car or work station.
The Employee Disaster Resource Center will provide some supplies, such as meals, linens and air mattresses, but we recommend bringing extra blankets and snacks as well. Here are other items we recommend packing in your go-bag:
- Cook Children’s badge
- Phone charger and power bank
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Face wash and soap
- Other personal toiletries items, including a towel
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Cash and change
- Warm blanket and/or pillow
- Non-perishable snacks, water and nonalcoholic drinks
- Change of clothing, uniforms, undergarments, and sleepwear
- Books, iPads, Kindles, games, puzzles or other activities
- Sound-dampening ear protection (soft ear plugs)
- Light-blocking sleeping mask
- Comfortable shoes and socks
Other ways to prepare for inclement weather
- Sign up for emergency alerts for your home and work area.
- Check road conditions at Drive Texas
- Tarrant County Emergency alerts: Sign up here
- Fort Worth CodeRED Mobile Alerts: Sign up here
- Prosper Smart911: Sign up here
- Lubbock alerts: Sign up here
- Denton alerts: Sign up for Alert Denton here.
Create an emergency plan
This plan should include an alternative plan for childcare or pet care, if applicable, if you can’t make it home immediately.
Make sure you know important phone numbers in case your phone battery runs out of power, such as your child’s school, emergency contacts, and/or neighbors.
Prepare your home for inclement weather.
- Seal windows and doors
- Have your chimney inspected
- Insulate exposed pipes
- Build an at-home emergency kit
- Stock up on bottled water and nonperishable foods
- Test smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm batteries
When cold weather hits, here are some tips to protect your home:
- Open cabinets under sinks to let your house’s heat warm the pipes.
- Let faucets drip from the cold and hot taps or run water through your indoor faucets – hot and cold -- before you go to sleep.
- If your pipes freeze, turn off the water at the shutoff valve. This prevents broken pipes from leaking into your house after they thaw.
- Make sure any other residents of your house know to never use a generator, camp stove, charcoal grill, gasoline or propane heater indoors and to never heat a home by using the stovetop or oven.
Frequently Asked Questions for Fort Worth
Q: How do I request a place to sleep?
A: You will request a place to sleep straight from your manager or leader. They will work directly with Hero Hotel (formally known as Hotel Cook) to determine sleeping arrangements on your behalf.
Requests for sleeping arrangements should be made no later than 2 p.m. for a day shift employee and by 2 a.m. for a night shift employee. Please note that your sleeping spot might not be the same every night.
Q: Where can I get things I need for my stay (air mattress, linen, toiletries)?
A: You can get supplies from the Employee Disaster Resource Center. This is located in the EVS Classroom 0210 in the Medical Center-Fort Worth basement, across from Central Stores. The Center will provide meal information, air mattresses, linen, refreshments, toiletries, and other accommodations. Staff should head to the Center only once a staff member’s shift is over.
Q: When can I access my ‘room’?
A: Please do not enter or access your assigned sleeping spot until 30 minutes after your shift ends. After sleeping, please ensure you have removed all personal belongings and left your assigned spot 30 minutes before your shift starts.
Q: Where do I return my stuff?
A: You can return your stuff at the Employee Disaster Resource Center. There may also be designated linen return carts nearby your sleep accommodations that you can utilize.
Q: I’m planning ahead! What should I bring if I plan to stay the night?
A: You should have a go-bag already at Cook Children’s with everything you would need for an extended stay. This includes toiletries, medication, a change of clothes, nonperishable snacks and an activity, like a book or card game. Check out the full go-bag guide here.
Q: My plans have changed. What do I do if I no longer need to stay overnight?
A: Tell your supervisor as soon as possible if your plans change. Make sure you check all weather and road conditions to make the safest plan possible.