What to Do During a Winter Storm
Being unprepared for a storm in the warmer months can put you in a tough spot but being unprepared for a winter storm, that could be life threatening. This is especially true if you are planning to or have recently moved into your first place; as a new homeowner you are learning from new situations that arise almost monthly so what to do during a winter storm? Let’s look at some of the steps that will keep you and your home safe.
Preparing your home for the winter season is a good place to start. Not only will you be protecting yourself from flooding when your pipes freeze or a roof leaks because of an ice dam in your gutters but by winterizing your home your place will stay warmer should you lose electricity. You can read more about how to winterize your home in this article (it also includes a free downloadable checklist). Preparing your property for winter is the first step but ensuring you have emergency supplies is going to be crucial should the roads become obstructed. By having the following supplies stocked, you can feel confident when the winter storm threats begin:
- 3 Day Supply of Food and Water, for each family member
- Manual Can Opener
- Battery powered or hand crank radio
- First Aid Kit
- Extra Batteries
- Battery backup for cell phones
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Sleeping Bag or warm blanket for each person
- Fire extinguisher
Once you hear of the storm approaching be sure to double check your emergency supplies and be sure to listen to your forecasts regularly, so you are not taken by surprise. It is also a good idea to fill your gas tank so once the roads become drivable you can get out of the house. Also keep in mind that if you do decide to drive, make sure you have an emergency kit in your vehicle. During extreme cold, do your best to remain indoors, this is especially true if you loose power since you will want to keep as much existing heat trapped inside. The same is true for pets, be sure to bring them indoors to keep them safe from the extreme cold.
Staying warm and hydrated is the key to survival during a winter storm but be sure that when heating your home, you do it safely. Turning on your stove for heat is not safe, instead use extra blankets, sleeping bags, and warm winter coats. If you use alternative heat sources like a fireplace or space heater, be sure you heed any instructions/precautions. Safety considerations are also necessary when lighting your home during a power outage; battery powered flashlights and lanterns are a better option than candles since candles could lead to house fires. If you choose to use candles, never leave one unattended and keep your fire extinguisher nearby.
Being prepared for a winter storm will keep you safe and lessen the anxiety as a winter storm approaches. Take the steps now to prepare so you can be confident and safe in your home this winter.