Severe winter storms can cause major problems to those who are not prepared. A winter storm can knock out the power and heat in a property or leave vehicles stranded in snow. Below are several ways to prepare for a winter storm before it strikes:
- The following items should be added to the emergency kit: sand for traction, snow shovels, salt or sand to melt ice, heating fuel (such as dry wood) and extra clothing and blankets.
- Families should establish a communications plan to know what to do during a winter storm in case family members get separated: how to contact each other, how to get together and where to meet.
- Drivers are advised to not go on the road if a blizzard is likely to occur. If driving is necessary, the car should have a disaster supplies kit.
- Vehicle owners should have their vehicle checked to ensure it can resist harsh winter weather. The brakes, battery and ignition system, antifreeze levels, heater, exhaust system, and lights must be inspected and repaired or replaced, if necessary. Good winter tires are also a requirement.
- Pet or livestock owners should be ready to bring their pets inside and move livestock and other animals to sheltered areas.
- Properties should be winterized by insulating walls and attics, weather-stripping windows and doors and installing storm windows. In addition, the roof should be checked for leaks and repaired if any leaks are found.
- Frozen pipes can be avoided by insulating them with special insulation products or even newspapers. Faucets should be allowed to drip a little to help prevent pipes from freezing.
- Burners must be used with caution to reduce the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and fire extinguishers must be kept close by. Generators, grills or other gasoline / charcoal burners must never be used indoors.
Power outages are also a common hazard during winter storms. Preparedness tips for winter storm blackouts are available here. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.