Winter storms can be devastating, which is why preparation is key. If a storm is in the forecast, take steps to prepare so you and your family can stay warm and safe.
Prepare to Shelter in Place
- Check local weather reports and sign up to receive emergency alerts.
- Get to a safe location and stay indoors. Be prepared for an extended power outage.
- Make sure you have flashlights and batteries, as well as enough non-perishable food and water for everyone in the house for three days.
- If anyone has special needs, such as baby supplies, medication, or pet food, make sure you have those items. Have a battery-powered radio available to receive information and instructions.
- If the power goes out, you could also lose heat. You can install more insulation, caulking, and weather stripping to help your house stay warm and wrap the pipes to keep them from freezing.
- If you have a generator or grill, use it outdoors a safe distance from the house to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Don’t heat your home with a gas stove or oven. If your house is too cold or is unsafe for another reason, go to a shelter or stay with a family member or friend.
- If you need to shovel snow, dress in warm layers. Wear a coat, hat, and gloves or mittens. Don’t overexert yourself because that could trigger a heart attack. Work at a pace that is comfortable for you, take frequent breaks and ask for help if you need it. Check on your neighbors, particularly individuals who are elderly or disabled or who live alone.
- Frostbite can cause numbness in the extremities. The skin may turn white, grayish-yellow, firm, or waxy. If you have symptoms of frostbite, go to a warm place or take a warm bath. Do not massage the area or use a heating pad.
- If a person’s body temperature drops too low, it can lead to life-threatening hypothermia. Symptoms include shivering, slurred speech, confusion, and drowsiness. Go to a warm place, stay dry, and wrap yourself in blankets. Warm the center of your body first.
Prepare to Get Stuck on the Road
- Put emergency supplies, including jumper cables, a flashlight, warm clothes, a blanket, non-perishable food, and water in your car.
- Fill your gas tank before you set out. You could get stuck in unexpectedly heavy snow, or an accident could cause you to be stranded in traffic for hours. If that happens, stay in your car. Drivers might not be able to see you if you were walking in blowing snow.
Get Ready for Winter Weather
Preparing for a winter storm can make a tough situation more bearable and prevent injuries. Gather necessary supplies and know what to do if you lose power or if someone experiences a medical emergency.
Car accidents, property damage, and injuries occur frequently when winter storms strike. Petruzelo Insurance can help you make sure you have the right auto, homeowners, and medical insurance. Contact us today to learn more.