Toughing Out a Snowstorm

As clocked turned back for Daylight Savings, the chill factor also set in, announcing the arrival of everyone’s favorite and most dreaded season – winter.

Wintertime is a great for frolicking in the snow, but what happens when fun turns to panic? In the event of snowstorm, you need to prepare your home for the worst.

Before the storm

Get your heating system checked out before the start of winter to ensure proper heating of your home. Also replace all smoke, carbon monoxide and heat detectors.

If you know a snowstorm is coming, weather-strip the windows and doors to keep the cold air out. Cover your windows with plastic to keep it insulated. Wrap the pipes with insulation or newspaper, and cover with plastic to retain moisture.

Charge your phones and back-up batteries in case of emergencies, and have extra shovels and snow blowers on hand in the garage.

When the power goes out

During a blizzard, high winds will most likely wipe out the neighborhood’s power lines, so prepare yourself with flashlights, candles and matches for a blackout.

If your house is large, keep a back-up generator in case you need electricity to power up parts of your home.

Get a large bucket and fill it with water from the taps – this will serve as your backup water supply. To avoid your pipes from freezing, keep the faucets dripping just a little.

Keeping warm

In most homes, the heating system depends on electricity – without it, the burners, gas stoves and heating stop working. So the biggest challenge during a blackout in the winter is to keep warm. Keep extra blankets and sweaters on hand, and if you can, a hand-operated or infrared heater.

Food for thought

You should keep enough bottled water and non-perishable food items such as crackers and tuna to last you for a week.

Other supplies

Keep a battery-powered radio on hand to keep in touch with the latest news.

During a blackout, keep kids entertained with board games, hula-hoops and arts and crafts.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t try to shovel snow.
  • Don’t go outside during a storm.
  • Don’t travel anywhere, no matter how close you think it is to your home. You will get frost-bitten, lost or worse.
  • Don’t start your car during a storm. If you are stranded, turn off the car immediately to reduce carbon monoxide levels.

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