Winter is in full swing. For most of us, that means colder temperatures and the possibility of heavy rain, sleet, and snow. If you live in an area prone to severe winter weather, it’s crucial to stay prepared.
Listen to the Weather
Forecasts change daily, especially if severe weather is expected. On Monday, you may hear you’ll get 12 inches of snow—but that doesn’t mean you’ll be buried under the stuff. Updates come in several times a day as fronts move through, so check back frequently for current information. Those 12 inches might go down to 6 or less in several hours.
Pack Your Emergency Kit
Every home should have an emergency weather kit, even if you don’t live in an area prone to heavy snow. If snow or extreme cold is forecast, have:
- Rock salt and sand for traction on walkways and driveways
- Snow removal equipment
- Plenty of water; dehydration can become serious quickly
- Winter clothing and plenty of blankets
- Adequate heating fuel; your electricity may go out
Winterize the House
Make sure your heating equipment is inspected and cleaned regularly. Insulate walls and attics, and weather-strip doors and windows. If your pipes may freeze, wrap them. Make sure you know how to shut off water valves. Keep fire extinguishers close, and teach everyone how to use them.
Know the Timing
Often, the presence of precipitation doesn’t mean conditions are dangerous. However, timing is everything. If snow and ice are expected late in the day, precipitation will likely freeze on the roads and cause accidents. During those situations, avoid travel if possible.