With winter rapidly approaching, it means we’ll soon be hearing more of that dreaded four-letter word: snow! A blizzard can bring life to a standstill and pose a significant safety threat. URI has developed the following winter preparedness checklist to help you ride the storm out.
The status of a winter storm can change frequently. Don’t be caught off-guard. Instead, stay ahead of the blizzard’s path and severity by listening to or watching the news or receiving weather alerts on your mobile device.
To alleviate anxiety, have discussions with your family members about what to do during the storm. Develop an emergency plan for an extended power outage and stock up on essentials such as non-perishable food and water and flashlight batteries.
The best practice during a blizzard is to stay home. But if you must travel for work or other reasons, make sure your vehicle is up to the challenge.
Prepare your car for snow by upgrading the tires and windshield wipers and filling the wiper fluid reservoir. Create an emergency kit to keep inside your vehicle consisting of food, water, warm clothing, a flashlight and batteries, and a collapsible shovel and cat litter in case you get stuck.
Keeping in touch is crucial during a winter storm. Generate a written list of people and entities to contact in case you need help. Your list should include family members, friends, neighbors and the local power company. If you lose electricity, your cell phone may be your only connection to the world. Charge your device immediately when you hear that a blizzard is approaching and use it sparingly to conserve battery power.
Make sure your home is ready for the effects of a blizzard. Have an HVAC professional inspect your heating system before the harsh winter weather arrives to ensure it’s in peak operating condition. Install weatherstripping and insulation to keep the inside warm and cozy. Keep a bag of rock salt or cat litter on hand to prevent slipping on exterior steps and walkways.
If you lose power during the storm, cover the inside of the windows with plastic sheets to keep cold air out.
Don’t neglect your furry friends during a severe storm! Bring them inside if possible and create a safe space to alleviate their anxiety. You might need to give them extra attention to keep them calm. Stock up on their food and medications and make sure they have their favorite toys to keep them occupied. If you must keep animals outdoors, provide a source of shelter with plenty of food and water and check on them frequently.
At URI, we focus on catastrophic event preparedness, emergency restoration and disaster recovery. We can provide helpful advice regarding how to prepare for a blizzard and what to do if you experience substantial storm damage. Contact us to learn more today.