One of the biggest winter storms is set to plummet the Midwest and East coast this week — it is important that you are prepared. The arrival of snow and ice could lead to power outages, so we want you to be one step ahead by checking out these winter storm preparedness tips provided by the American Red Cross.
Tips for Staying Safe at Home During a Winter Storm
- Be careful with candles – do not use candles for lighting if the power goes out — use flashlights only.
- Don’t use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement or garage.
- Prevent frozen pipes – when the weather is very cold outside, open cabinet doors to let warm air circulate around water pipes.
- Also, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing because the temperature of the water running through it is above freezing.
- Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
- If you plan on using a fireplace to stay warm, keep a glass or metal fire screen around the fireplace and never leave a lit fire unattended.
- If you using a space heater, place it on a level, hard, and nonflammable surface. Turn the space heater off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Avoid overloading electrical outlets.
Tips for Protecting Yourself While Outdoors and Traveling During a Winter Storm
- When possible, stay indoors during the storm.
- Walk carefully on snowy, icy sidewalks and stairs.
- Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing, which will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat.
- Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.
- If you shovel snow, be extremely careful. Take frequent breaks, stay hydrated and avoid overexertion.
- Minimize travel whenever possible. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle with extra food, blankets, and an emergency radio.
- Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
Make a Winter Storm Plan:
- Be prepared to shelter at home in case of severe weather. Have additional food and water stored to last seven to fourteen days.
- Have extra blankets on hand.
- Ensure that each member of your household has a warm coat, gloves or mittens, a hat, and water-resistant boots.
- Assemble a disaster supplies kit for your home and vehicle.
- Decide how you would communicate with your family members should you be separated and unable to travel when a winter storm hits.
Stay safe out there everyone and remember: “No Power, No Problem.”