Winter Storm Preparedness
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Preventative steps before a winter storm hits are by far the best approach to deal with it successfully.
- Make sure your furnace works before a storm hits that brings many consecutive days of freezing cold. Clean the filters to ensure that it operates efficiently and to prevent it from overheating. If you have fireplaces, unblock and clean the chimneys and ensure that you have a sufficient amount of wood of other fuel to keep it going for at least two weeks.
- Purchase at least one Chemical fire extinguisher and install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each level of the house.
- There should be at least one charged cellphone in the house in case the storm requires evacuation.
- Move to the basement if there is a blizzard warning, or ask your neighbours to seek shelter in their basement if you do not have one.
- In case of a power failure, have a battery-powered radio with spare batteries to listen to weather forecasts and emergency instructions. Charged battery-powered flashlights and lamps are much safer than candles. It is also handy to have at least one non-electric cooking appliance and non-electric heating like a kerosene heater or wood burner.
- Have a non-perishable food supply that can last for two weeks, including tinned food, crackers, biscuits, and dried fruit. When there is an extreme snowstorm warning, fill bottles with water in case your pipes freeze and cut your water supply.
- To prevent the freezing of water pipes, open bathroom and kitchen cupboards so the warm air inside your house can warm the pipes. Let taps drip slightly so pressure on the pipes is lowered.
- Have extra fuel available to fill your vehicle's tank. This will prevent the fuel in the tank from freezing, and will help if you need to evacuate.
- Save emergency numbers on your phone.
- Purchase a first-aid kit or use Red Cross guidelines to make your own. It has to include at least a week's supply of each person's prescription medicine.
- Pack an emergency evacuation kit. Include your first-aid kit, non-perishable foods with can opener, water, a shovel, flashlight with extra batteries, warm clothes and blankets, chains or rope, rock salt and sand, a LED emergency beacon and basic tools.
We all hope it will not happen to us, but it is better to be prepared anyway.