Severe weather and winter storms can strike at any time during the colder months, and the conditions that come with it – strong winds, blowing snow, freezing rain and subzero temperatures – present a variety of hazards to homes and homeowners alike. A few simple precautions can help to keep both your home and your family safe and warm when a winter storm is coming.
When Winter Storms Hit
- Keep your home well-stocked with food, water and necessary supplies well before a storm hits. It’s best to avoid driving in severe weather if possible.
- Have the phone number for your energy provider handy, and call them as soon as possible if you lose power. Let your neighbors know to call, too; many utility companies will make repairs faster based on the number of homes on a block without power.
- Turn electrical appliances off in your home after a power loss. This will prevent an overload when the power comes back on. Leave a single light on in a frequently-used room to act as in indicator when power has been restored.
- If you use a space heater or other alternative heat source, make sure your home is well ventilated to prevent dangerous fumes. Keep space heaters at least three feet away from flammable surfaces.
- When temperatures dip dangerously low, leave faucets turned on slightly (just enough so that water constantly drips from the tap, not a steady stream) to prevent frozen pipes. If you do end up having a pipe freeze and burst, make sure everyone in your household knows where the shutoff valve is located.
- Close off unused rooms, and cover windows at night.
- Have an emergency preparedness kit on hand. Store it in a safe place and make sure everyone knows where it is. Your kit should include lots of water, blankets, a first-aid kit, flashlights, batteries and non-perishable food (learn more about how to put together an emergency preparedness kit here).
- Be cautious if you venture outside after a severe storm. Downed power lines can be hidden under snow, fallen limbs and other debris. If you see damaged electrical equipment, downed or sagging power lines, notify the authorities promptly.
You will also find this article helpful: Protect Your Home from Winter Threats