How to Prepare for a Blizzard
Here’s a checklist of things you should do today before the storm and tomorrow during the snow.
Here is a handy list of tips to best prepare:
— Stock up on rock salt (or, if you have pets, a product that is safe to drag inside on the bottom of your snow boots.)
— Find all of your snow shovels (or stock up.)
— If your have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, make sure you have enough wood.
— Make sure you have enough blankets for each family member in case the power goes out and you need to bundle up.
— Get batteries for your portable radio for emergency updates during power outages.
— Be prepared to stay home and avoid travel, which means having enough food and water. If you have an electric stove, be prepared to eat without the use of an oven, stove top, or microwave.
— Make sure all of your pets are inside.
— Check the level of windshield wiper fluid in your car as well as making sure your windshield wipers are in good shape, fill your tank with gas to help keep your fuel line from freezing, and check to make sure you have enough oil.
— Keep the following in your car in case of emergency: shovel, scraper, broom, flashlight, battery powered radio, extra batteries, water, snacks, matches, extra hats, socks, and mittens, a first aid kit with a pocket knife, necessary medications, blankets, road salt, booster cables, and emergency flares.
— Take down ‘iffy’ tree branches around your home that could cause damage during a storm.
— If you know your insulation isn’t up to par, leave water trickling to prevent pipes from freezing.
— Make sure everyone knows how to use the fire extinguisher.
— Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gas, propane, or charcoal-burning device inside your home, garage, basement, crawlspace, or any partially enclosed area. Keep any of these things at least 20 feet away from your home. The biggest danger with these items is carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock, and fire.
— Make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke alarm detector batteries are working.
DURING THE BLIZZARD:
— Stay indoors as much as possible and don’t plan to drive if it can be avoided.
— Walk carefully when outside to avoid slipping on ice.
— Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow, which could bring on a heart attack (a major cause of death in the winter.) Take breaks from shoveling, push snow instead of lifting when possible, and lift smaller/lighter loads.
— Other advice for those shoveling: Change wet clothing frequently to prevent loss of body heat, cover exposed skin to avoid frostbite, avoid getting too cold or you risk hypothermia.
— If you must travel, travel in the daylight, don’t travel alone, keep others informed of your schedule and route, and stay on main roads. Avoid back road shortcuts. Make sure someone knows your destination and when you expect to arrive.
— Maintain ventilation if using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel outside and keep at least three feet from flammable objects.
— If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be water repellent. Mittens are warmer than gloves, wear a hat to prevent loss of body heat, cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
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