Many winter storms last for days on end and can easily lead to major problems for people who aren’t prepared. A winter storm could knock out the power and warmth in your house or leave you stranded in your car. Therefore, before a blizzard takes you by surprise, follow the winter storm safety tips below.
Winter Storm Safety Tips — Ahead of the Storm
- Create a House emergency kit. Your winter storm security kit should continue at least three times in case of a power outage or other catastrophe. Contain essential items such as water, non-perishable foods, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, and first-aid supplies. Insert winter-specific items in the kit too: sand for traction, snow shovels, salt or sand to melt ice, heating fuel (such as dry wood when you have a fireplace), and additional clothing and blankets. Additionally, incorporate an NOAA Weather Radio to listen to blizzard alarms.
- Create a disaster preparedness plan. Your winter storm security program will aid your family to understand what to do during a winter storm if you are separated: how to get in touch with each other, the way to get together, and in which to meet. Designate a friend or relative that lives out of the city to be your family emergency contact. Also, make certain to create and practice a fire escape plan.
- Insulate Your House. Install storm shutters and windows and insulate your loft and walls to keep the cold air out. Check and repair roof leaks and trim the trees in your yard. Use special insulation products or even papers. If you are moving away, make the heat on in your house to a temperature of at least 55° F to prevent frozen pipes. Additionally, permit the faucets to drip a little to help keep them from freezing.
- Know how to shut off utilities. Should you need to evacuate your home, or if a disaster like a flood or fire occurs, you will need to shut off utilities. Watch our tips to shut off natural gas, electricity, and water supplies within your property. Have your furnace, wood stove or fireplace inspected and cleaned each year to ensure they’re working correctly.
- Be fire-safe. Make sure that your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are functioning by testing them each month. Replace batteries twice a year. Have a fire extinguisher on each level of the house.
- Be ready to protect your creatures. Bring companions indoors and move livestock and other animals to sheltered places.
- Winterize your car. Although driving through a blizzard is dangerous, you should be ready for almost any circumstances. Install winter tires and possess your automobile prepared for severe winter Check the brakes, ignition and battery system, antifreeze levels, heater, exhaust system, and lights. Create an emergency kit for your vehicle that includes no less than a flashlight, blanket, snow/ice scraper, and salt or sand. Additionally, keep the gas tank full to prevent the fuel line from freezing.
Winter Storm Safety Tips — During and After the Storm
It is important to understand what to do during and after a blizzard strikes your area. Having a winter storm safety mindset can allow you to keep yourself and your loved ones safe during inclement weather. Below, you will find information on how to stay safe during and after a winter storm:
- Drive carefully. When there is a winter storm warning locally, take precautions immediately. Avoid driving and in case you’re already driving, exercise caution. If you have to travel by car, make a disaster supplies kit.
- Do not go out from the storm. However, if it’s necessary, walk carefully on snowy or icy paths.
- If you’re shoveling snow, avoid overexertion. Change wet clothes immediately to prevent loss of body warmth. In cases of cold temperature exposure, prevent frostbite by covering exposed skin. If you feel you’ve got frostbite, do not rub the affected region. If you’ve lost feeling in extremities, like fingers and toes, seek shelter and medical help. This is another threat when exposed to low temperatures. Symptoms include nausea, shivering, incoherence, and memory loss. Individuals that are experiencing hypothermia must be heated up quickly and handled by a health care provider.
- Find help if stranded in your vehicle. If you’re stuck on the road in your vehicle, get out and find assistance only if a secure location is observable or nearby and have appropriate clothing. Follow the directions from your local transportation section, to learn the safest path to your home.
- Contemplate a public shelter. In case you lost power because of the storm, then consider visiting a designated public shelter. Be aware of frostbite and hypothermia dangers when going outside.
- Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Be cautious when using burners to reduce the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Vent fuel-burning equipment to the outside and also have fire extinguishers close by. Check the outside vent is clear of leaves, debris, and snow. Also, never use a generator, grill, or alternative gasoline/charcoal burner inside.
- Evaluate your preparedness following the storm. Once the storm has settled, evaluate your security preparations and supplies kit. Consider ways that you can improve your plan and what you can add to your kit to make it through the next winter storm more safely. Share your winter safety tips with friends and neighbors.
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