Winter storms can severely impact your home. The most severe winter storms bring snow, ice, sleet, as well as strong winds and dangerously low temperatures. To improve your safety in your home during a winter storm, you should make several preparations:
- Create an emergency kit. You will need a home emergency kit that should last at least three days in case of a power outage. Include essential items like water, non-perishable food, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, and first-aid supplies.
- Create a disaster preparedness plan. Establish how every member of the household gets in touch with each other. Designate a friend or relative who lives out of town to be your family emergency contact. Also be sure to make and practice a fire escape plan.
- Insulate your home. Install storm windows and shutters, and insulate your attic and walls to keep the cold air out. Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
- Insulate your pipes to prevent them from freezing and rupturing. If you’re going away, leave the heat on in your home to a temperature of at least 55° F to prevent frozen pipes.
- Know how to shut off utilities. Should you need to evacuate your home, or if a disaster like fire or flooding occurs, you will need to shut off utilities. Learn how to shut off natural gas, electricity, and water supplies in your home here.
- Maintain heating equipment. Have your furnace, wood stove or fireplace inspected and cleaned every year to ensure they are working properly.
- Be fire-safe. Make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are working by testing them every month. Replace batteries twice a year. Have a fire extinguisher on every level of the home. Check that the outside vent is clear of leaves, debris, and snow.
- Winterize your car. Install winter tires and have your vehicle prepared for severe winter weather. Learn more tips to winterize your vehicle here. Make an emergency kit for your vehicle that includes at least a flashlight, blanket, snow/ice scraper, and sand or salt. Keep the gas tank full to prevent the fuel line from freezing.
If there is a winter storm warning in your area, take precautions immediately. Avoid driving and if you’re already driving, exercise caution. Check out safety tips for winter driving in this article.
In case of a burst pipe, your best chance of recovery is through emergency flood repair. For flood water damage repair and water removal services, contact your local PuroClean office.