The smartest way to get ahead of winter weather is to start early by stocking up on snowstorm supplies and working out a communications plan with your family. Take these steps to protect your family and home from the worst of winter weather.
Create a Snowstorm Emergency Kit
A well-stocked family snowstorm emergency kit can help you weather a winter storm. Your snowstorm emergency kit should include:
- Flashlight and battery-operated headlamps
- Matches or lighter
- 3 day supply of bottled water for family
- 3 day supply of non-perishable food, can opener, paper plates and utensils
- First aid kit
- Battery powered or hand-crank radio for weather alerts
- Portable power pac (for cell phones or laptops)
Learn more about stocking a snowstorm emergency kit today so it’s ready before winter starts.
Design a Family Communication Snowstorm Plan
Talking about what your family would do if there’s a snowstorm beforehand may reduce worry among your family members, especially children. Your plan should include who to contact and how. Will you connect with each other via phone calls, text messaging, email or your social media account?
Also choose an emergency meeting place for storms that occur when you are separated and can’t make it home, such as a coffee shop, arena, or community center. Remind children to stay at their daycare center or school until a parent arrives to get them.
Prepare Your Vehicle for Snowstorms
You may need to leave your home to protect your family from a winter storm. Keep a windshield scraper, bag of sand, and a vehicle emergency kit in your trunk. Check your tire tread and install winter tires if they’re recommended for your area. It’s also important to get your car winterized by a certified mechanic.
Snowstorm Home Safety Tips – Indoors
All adult family members should know the location of your home’s electrical circuit box and the natural gas and water shut off valves. Natural disasters like snowstorms may lead to natural gas leaks, explosions, and electrical issues causing fires.
If the power goes out and your home heating stops working, pipes can freeze and burst. Before winter starts, help prevent pipes from freezing by draining swimming pool and water sprinkler lines, as well as outdoor hoses and valves. And insulate water pipes in unheated areas of your home.
Fill some containers with water when you get a storm warning in case the water gets shut off.
If your home includes a wood burning fireplace or wood stove, stock up on wood to keep a fire burning for warmth if needed. Inspect your carbon monoxide detector and chimney in the fall. Repair any cracks or tears in caulking and weatherstripping around doors and windowsills to keep out drafts from cold storm winds.
Snowstorm Home Safety Tips – Outdoors
Keep your exterior vents clear of snow and ice to avoid furnace overheating and shutting off. Keep your roof cleared of snow to avoid a roof cave-in from excess snow during heavy snowfalls. And keep a shovel in your entryway so you can dig your family out if required.
Don’t get caught unprepared when a snowstorm arrives. Take action now to prepare yourself, your family, and your home for winter weather.