Extreme cold, snow and high winds are only the beginning
In certain parts of the country, dealing with huge winter storms is unavoidable. But it’s not just the snow and ice that make it difficult — it’s the duration. Storms can last for weeks at a time, knocking out power and even potentially trapping you inside your home. All the more reason to prepare and consider the following tips.
Before a Storm
Make a plan. Prepare your emergency kit and make a communication plan. Gather supplies assuming you’ll be days without power, and, along with food and water, stock your car with sand, jumper cables, and warm clothing or blankets.
Stay tuned. Pay attention to weather reports and warnings. When a warning is issued, it implies a threat of loss of life or property if no precautions are taken.
Identify regional risks. Even if you don’t live in the traditional “blizzard alley,” stay vigilant when tracking nearby storms. Being caught unprepared for a storm is extremely dangerous.
Check your home. Identify any areas of your home that may be prone to an accumulation of heavy snow. Areas with a flat roof are particularly vulnerable.
During a Storm
Layer up. Assume you won’t have access to electrical heat. Stockpile blankets and other warm clothing.
Watch the gas. Keep any generators outside, away from your building. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be a real threat in a winter storm. Never heat your home with the stove top or oven.
Know the signs. Be on the lookout for signs of frostbite and hypothermia, and begin treatment immediately.
Prepare a water turnoff. Once frozen, a burst pipe can do thousands of dollars of damage in just minutes. Locate the water shut-off valve for your home and know how to turn it off.