It happens almost every year. Just when warmer weather seems right around the corner and you are gearing up to ditch the heaviest heavy coats, old man winter comes at you with another winter storm. Don’t let a blizzard or other winter storm catch you unaware. With the proper planning and foresight, you can sail through whatever winter can dish up. Just follow these key pointers.
Stay off the roads if possible
When bad weather hits, being out on the roads is dangerous. You could get in an accident or be stranded in frigid winter conditions. Keeping the roads clear for emergency personnel helps them reach the people who need them.
Prepare your car
Even if you plan on being wise and staying off the roads, taking care to properly prepare your car for a winter storm will help you stay as safe as possible if you must leave due to an emergency. Make sure your car has a full tank of gas. Putting a bag of kitty litter in your trunk helps your car have more traction in the snow as well as being useful to put under your tires should you get stuck in the snow. Stock your car with supplies such as a flashlight, candle, bottled water, extra blankets and winter clothing.
Prepare your home
Freezing temperatures can make even the most comfortable home struggle to keep you warm during a blizzard. Change your furnace filter and have a professional inspect your heating source every winter to avoid losing heat at the worst time. Check your home for air leaks and be proactive about insulating your home from the freezing outside temperatures.
Keep additional food and water on hand
You should have at least a 3 days supply of food and bottled water in case you get snowed in. Make sure to get food that is easy to prepare should you happen to lose power and are unable to use the microwave or stove.
Emergency supplies for a blizzard
Spending some time thinking about and obtaining emergency supplies before you need them in a blizzard helps keep you and your family safe and healthy. Have an adequate supply of all medications needed, a first aid kit, flash lights with extra batteries, a battery-powered radio, baby supplies such as diapers and pet supplies.
Alternate heating sources
While you may be able to get by after losing power for a short while with your extra blankets and clothing, a longer power outage requires an access to an alternative heating source such as a wood burning fireplace or stove. Stock up on wood to keep your home warm. Take care to not use heating sources such as generators, camp stoves, or other heating devices using propane, natural gas, charcoal or gasoline indoors. The carbon monoxide generated by these devices is deadly in enclosed spaces.
Know where your city’s designated public shelter is
Even for the most prepared household, it is important to have a back-up plan, especially if you do not have access to a safe alternate heating source. If you lose power and it is unsafe to stay in your home, proceed as safely as possible to a designated shelter. You can find one on your city, town, village, or county’s local government web site or by calling its information line.
Blizzards are definitely a major hazard and inconvenience. But they can also be beneficial. How? Follow these tips, then arrange some uncommon fun activities inside your cozy home. My favorites are always snuggling up with a movie or board game, as the snow rages outside.