Boy have we been slammed with big winter storms lately. Let's not be caught with our pants down for the next one! Here are ways you can prepare for this year's winter.
Before the storm gets here, here's a to-do checklist:
* Prepare your emergency kit. Have rock salt, sand, shovels, heating fuel, and clothing and blankets
* In your car you should have ice scrapers, snow brush, a shovel, blanket, flares, and a flashlight and water.
* Have flashlights and candles plus plenty of extra batteries in case you're without power.
* Bottled water and non-perishable food items are good to have plenty of on hand, especially if you're in an area that loses power a lot and stays without it for a long time.
* If at all possible, wait out a storm or try to travel before a storm is expected. You don't want to be out when it hits.
* Bring in pets. Would you want to be stuck outside during a blizzard? Animals need shelter during storms.
* Have a radio or something you can get emergency updates on. Even a smartphone is great for this. Just make sure to charge that battery thoroughly before the storm hits.
* Check on those board games. There's nothing worse than being stuck with no power and hearing, “I'm bored!” from the kids.
During the storm or in extreme cold, make sure you...
* Stay inside. As much as possible, you want to remain sheltered.
* Be careful on icy walkways and stairs. Hold on and put rock salt and sand down for better traction.
* Take it easy when shoveling, especially if you have heart problems. You do not want to overdo it and then have a heart attack. Make sure to stretch before you shovel.
* Change wet clothing as soon as you can. You will lose all of that precious body heat through the wet clothing and it could cause frostbite and hypothermia.
* If you must travel, then make sure someone knows the route you plan on traveling and when you're leaving and when you expect to arrive.
* If pipes freeze, remove insulation and wrap them in rags. Open all of the faucets and pour hot water over the pipes.
* If using a Kerosene heater, please remember to maintain good ventilation.
* Conserve fuel; keep the thermostat a little lower than you would normally keep it and keep warm with blankets and extra clothing instead.
* If you'll be away from home during the winter months, leave the heat on, no lower than 55 degrees F.
If you are without power or a heat source after the storm is over, then seek shelter.
If you don't know where your nearest shelter is, then you can text the word SHELTER plus your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA), sample text: SHELTER 12345.
Keep warm with all of those extra clothes and blankets you have. Safety is the number one concern when any storm hits, so stay inside as much as possible.
Now you are ready for the next winter storm.