How to Prepare for a Winter Storm
Many winter storms last for days on end and can easily cause major problems to those who are not prepared. A winter storm can knock out the power and heat in your home or leave you stranded in your car. Before a severe winter storm strikes, take some time to take the following preparations:
- Add the following items in your emergency kit: sand for traction, snow shovels, salt or sand to melt ice, heating fuel (such as dry wood if you have a fireplace) and extra clothing and blankets. Also include a NOAA Weather Radio to listen to blizzard alerts.
- Establish a family communications plan to know what to do during a winter storm in case you are separated: how to contact each other, how to get together and where to meet.
- Don’t travel if a blizzard is likely to occur. If you must travel by car, bring a disaster supplies kit.
- Be ready to protect your pets during cold weather: bring companions inside and move livestock and other animals to sheltered areas.
- Have your vehicle checked to ensure it can resist harsh winter weather. Check the brakes, battery and ignition system, antifreeze levels, heater, exhaust system, and lights. Also, don’t forget to install good winter tires. More tips on safe winter driving are available here.
- Insulate walls and attics, weather-strip windows and doors and install storm windows. Check and repair roof leaks and trim the trees in your yard.
- Prevent pipes from freezing by insulating them with special insulation products or even newspapers. Allow the faucets to drip a little to help prevent frozen pipes.
- Be cautious when using burners to reduce the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Vent fuel-burning equipment to the outside and have fire extinguishers close by. Never use a generator, grill or other gasoline / charcoal burner indoors.
Blackouts are also a common hazard during winter storms. Learn how to prepare for a winter storm blackout here. For professional fire, water and mold restoration services, contact your local PuroClean office.