What to have at home during an ice storm

COLUMBIA(WACH) - Once that sleet starts coming down, a Southerners' blood pressure starts going up.

But before you dash off to the grocery store, make sure to take a moment and think about what you really might need to stay safe.

"I think this time of year it's really important for most of us to not just follow the crowd mentality of going for bread and milk, but also think about things like batteries. Think about medications." says Bill Cronin, the Executive Director for the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross.

It's also suggested you have things like blankets and power bars on hand, just in case the power goes out.

And if the storm does cut off your power, be smart when using alternate sources of heat for your home.

The Red Cross reported 185home fires in the Midlands last month alone.

One thing they stress, is to make sure you don't use your oven as a heat source.

And be very,very careful when turning to other alternatives.

"If you do expect that you're going to be using a generator, make sure you have fuel for it. But at the same time, remember generator safety. Don't run your generators inside the house, inside the garage. And if you do use an alternate heating source, like kerosene heaters and things like that, make sure they're on a flat surface." explains Cronin.

Another tip is to make sure your cell phone is fully charged before a storm because the Red Cross actually has a variety of different apps including one for first aid and another one to show you where a shelter is located in your area.

"I would suggest downloading, while we still have power, the Shelter App. The Shelter App can show you where we have shelters open currently. It's anywhere in the United States. We don't have shelters up open yet in South Carolina. We are prepared to do so when the time comes." states Cronin.

The Red Cross apps can either be downloaded on iTunes or at