Preparing for Winter Storms
Brace Yourself for Winter
It's officially winter and with winter comes inclement weather, with temperatures dipping into the single digits or even below zero in many areas. Snow storms are not uncommon and, depending upon where you live, blizzards can be a semi-regular occurrence; yet it is amazing how many people live under these conditions for decades and seem to be caught off guard when the worst weather hits. Frostbite, hypothermia and even freezing deaths are not uncommon in certain places, but there are steps that you can take to prepare yourself for the worst winter storms.
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Preparing Your Home
There is always the possibility in the worst storms that local stores will be closed. Even if they remain open the local roads may be impassable. It is essential that you are prepared to remain indoors for at least 24 hours and possibly, as much as 3 to 4 days. In order to prepare your home to ride out the storm, you might consider the following tips:
Make sure you always have a supply of frozen and canned goods available
Stock up on toilet paper
Have batteries, flashlights, candles and matches in case of power outages
Keep enough gasoline and oil available for your snowblower
Clean out your garage if needed to assure that you can park vehicles inside
Have at least one change of warm clothes clean and available. This should include clothing that can be worn in layers as they keep you warmer. You'll need them for shoveling and outdoor activities.
Keep an extra blanket on each bed
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Preparing Your Car
There are a few essentials that you need to keep in your trunk during winter months. It is important to try to keep the gas tank at least half full during the coldest weather to help keep lines from freezing. As you consider how to prepare your car, as yourself the following questions:
What would I do if I got a flat tire in this weather?
What would I do if I slid into a ditch?
What would happen if I ran out of gas?
Other tips include:
A collapsible shovel
A large bag a kitty litter (For tire traction in icy conditions. It helps get cars unstuck)
A long handled ice scraper with brush
An electric ice scraper
An extra outfit including socks, pants, boots, gloves, scarf, hat, and sweater
A quilted blanket or rolled up sleeping bag
An extra bottle of Heat for your gas tank (keeps lines from freezing in extremely cold temps)
Keep a flashlight in your glovebox
Keep a few space blankets in your glove box
Keep a bottle of deicer in your glove box
Make sure your tires are properly inflated in advance. This includes your spare tire!
Always assure that you have a cell phone available and fully charged when driving in this weather
Pay attention to mile markers and street signs when driving. If you must call for help, it'll give you a better chance of letting others know where you are. Of course it's ideal to have a GPS unit or cell phone with GPS
Leave at least three car lengths between you and the car in front of you in icy conditions