Winter storms can cause extensive damage to homes and properties. The biggest snowstorms bring snow, ice, sleet, as well as strong winds and dangerously low temperatures. Here are essential winter storm preparedness tips for property owners:
- Creating an emergency kit – The emergency kit should contain essential items like water, non-perishable food, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, and first-aid supplies. The items should last at least three days in case of a power outage or other disaster.
- Creating a disaster preparedness plan – Families should establish how every household member gets in touch with each other. A friend or relative who lives out of town should be designated to be the family emergency contact. Families should also create and practice a fire escape plan.
- Insulating the home by installing storm windows and shutters, and by insulating the attic and walls to keep the cold air out. The doors and windows should be caulked or weather-stripped; the windows can also be covered with plastic from the inside.
- The water pipes should also be insulated to prevent them from freezing and rupturing. If the home will be empty for several days, the heat in the home should be left on to at least 13 degrees Celsius. Taking this measure will help prevent frozen pipes.
- Household members must know how to shut off utilities. In case the home needs to be evacuated, or if a disaster like fire or flooding occurs, the utilities must be shut off. Guidelines on how to shut off natural gas, electricity, and water supplies can be found here.
- Maintaining the heating equipment – The furnace, wood stove or fireplace must be inspected and cleaned every year to ensure they are working properly.
- Preventing fires – Homes and properties should be equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. The alarms should be tested every month and the batteries replaced at least once a year. A fire extinguisher should be installed on every level of the home. The outside vents must be clear of leaves, debris, and snow.
- Preparing the car for winter conditions by installing winter tires, making an emergency kit for vehicles, and more. The emergency kit should include at least a flashlight, blanket, snow/ice scraper, and sand or salt. The gas tank should be kept full to prevent the fuel line from freezing.
For more tips on how to stay safe and protect properties during winter storms, here are roof snow removal tips and winter water damage prevention tips. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.