Winter Storm Safety Tips

Are you ready for the storm?

The winter storm forecasted for this weekend is supposed to start on Friday evening and end Sunday with significant snowfall amounts inland and coastal flooding mixed with rain, sleet and snow in the eastern areas of the state. Below are items to do before the storm to be ready when it happens.

For the People:

  • Have enough medication on hand to last the duration of the storm a few days more in case the power goes out. Don’t forget pet meds also.
  • Do laundry before the storm so everyone can dress in layers for warmth
  • Everyone in the house should have their own working flashlight.

For the Home:

  • In case of emergency have flashlights, batteries, emergency weather radio and an emergency contact list on hand. Have safe shut down and evacuation procedures in place.  
  • Have drinking water and nonperishable foods on premises.
  • Get a cooler ready. Put the most necessary refrigeration-required items in the cooler. Freeze water in sealable plastic bags for the ice in the cooler.
  • Do not open the refrigerator after the power goes out.
  • Fully charge cell phones before the storm.
  • Check doors to make sure they close tightly. Weather stripping and caulking help prevent heat loss and drafts.
  • Place rugs near entrances to prevent slipping and falling and help control salt that will inevitably get tracked in.
  • Make sure heating vents are clear of combustible material. 
  • Check that space heaters will have enough clearance (space around the heater) and are working properly before they are needed.
  • Shut-off outside water at the shut-off valve and drain water lines to prevent freezing and potential pipe bursts.
  • Trickle inside water facets (both hot and cold) during extremely cold temperatures.
  • Generators need to be in good working condition with fuel easily accessible.

For the Vehicle:

Obviously, the best place to be in a storm is safe and warm at home BUT your vehicle needs to be prepared also. If evacuation becomes necessary your vehicle needs to be ready to transport you to safety.

  • Get a full tank of gas before the storm. This will give you a little extra weight on the road and gas stations require power to pump gas. If the power and heat go out, vehicles can be used to warm people and charge cell phones, in short intervals, as long as the vehicle is in the open.
  • Vehicle exhaust pipes should be clear of snow and ice to prevent exhaust into the vehicle cabin.
  • Have a small snow shovel and ice scraper in the vehicle.
  • Carry non-clumping kitty litter for traction.
  • Emergency road kits need to be properly stocked with a working flashlight, flares, a first aid kit and a thermal blanket.
  • Pack a small “winter- ready” bag in the vehicle; include warm clothes, boots, a blanket, water, non-perishable food and a can opener as required.

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