With this being the season for freezing rain, sleet, and blizzards. Ensure you’re ready for the next big storm before it strands you. Heavy snow and ice can take down power lines, make travel difficult and dangerous or simply leave you stuck in in your own home, cold and dark. To keep you and your family warm and safe, here are a few things to be mindful of to ensure your family is ‘storm ready’.
Prepare your home
- Keep your pets safe inside. Keep dogs on a leash to prevent them from running off when out doing their business.
- Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
- Ensure you have a working generator (with fresh oil, spark plugs and extra gas), and/or fresh batteries for flashlights and lanterns, candles and fire power (lighter or matches). Keep them in an easily accessible location.
- Charge up your electronic devices and keep them as fully charged as possible.
- Have a battery-operated radio close by to keep you up to date on news and safety warnings. If it’s a weather radio, be sure you’ve programmed it correctly if necessary.
- Stock up on nonperishable foods and fresh water. Try to have enough to last each person in your household for 3 days.
- Check the condition of your snow shovels and window scrapers for cracks or damage.
- If you have a wood burning fireplace/stove, have plenty of dry firewood split and easily accessible.
- Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
- Keep space heater safety in mind: Use electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. Remember to keep all heat sources at least three feet away from furniture and drapes. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
- As an extra precaution, have a fire extinguisher on hand. Be sure the entire family knows how to use it.
Prepare your vehicle:
- Consider fully winterizing your vehicle: Have a mechanic check antifreeze, brakes, heater and defroster, tires, and windshield wipers to ensure they are in good shape. Keep your gas tank at least half full.
- Keep an extra emergency kit specifically created for your car. In addition to the basic essentials, consider adding a portable cell phone charger, ice scraper, a blanket and jumper cables.
- Keep a few sand bags in the trunk to improve traction.
Stay safe everyone.
Submitted by Kevin Mullen, AmeriSpec Home Inspector
- On January 10, 2018
- 0 Comments