Winter can bring storms, including blizzards, which can result in extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and strong winds. Being prepared during this time of year is crucial, but how to do it?
Ready, an official website of the U.S. government, shared specific recommendations for people to be prepared during this winter season, whether they are at home, at work, or in their cars.
In the face of winter weather, it is recommended to:
- Use insulation, caulking, and weatherstripping.
- Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with backup batteries.
- Stock up on candles, food, and water.
- Service heating systems.
- Have supplies in case you need to stay at home for several days without electricity.
- Consider the specific needs of each person, including medication.
- Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
- If unable to afford heating, cooling, or home energy-related repairs, contact the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for assistance.
In addition to being cautious with these tips, it is also recommended to pay attention to weather reports and warnings of icy conditions and winter storms. To do this, individuals can register with their community’s alert system or stay tuned to the Emergency Alert System and the weather radio of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
In case of emergency
Being prepared for winter weather at home, at work, and in your car is crucial. Therefore, it is recommended to carry a useful supply kit in your car, including jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothing, blankets, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks.
Staying safe during winter weather
- Stay away from roads if possible. If stuck in a car, stay inside.
- Limit time outdoors. If going out, wear layers of warm clothing and watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
- Reduce the risk of a heart attack by avoiding excessive exertion when shoveling snow and walking on it.
- Use generators and grills only outdoors and away from windows.
- Never heat the home with stoves or a gas oven.
Generators can be helpful when the power goes out; however, it’s essential to know how to use them safely to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and other hazards.
- Generators and fuel should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows, doors, and attached garages.
- Install working carbon monoxide detectors on each level of the home. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can have lethal effects.
- Keep the generator dry and protected from rain or flooding. Touching it while wet or connected devices can lead to electric shock.
- Always connect the generator to appliances with heavy-duty extension cords.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.