Preparing for a winter storm: CDC guidelines
Staying warm and safe during extremely cold weather and winter storms can be a challenge. Severe winter weather can not only bring icy roads, but also power failures and loss of communication services. It is always important to be prepared beforehand, so here is some advice from the CDC to help keep you and your loved ones safe during a winter storm.
It is important that your home and your vehicles are also prepared for the winter weather surge.
Here are some tips to help weatherproof your home:
- Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze.
- Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
- Insulate walls and attic.
- Install storm or thermal-pane windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
- Repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on your home or other structure during a storm.
Travel is never recommended during a winter storm, but if it is necessary, keeping these on hand may help in an emergency situation:
- Create an emergency kit with some essentials such as a cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries.
- Flash lights
- Battery powered radio
- First aid kit with any necessary medications.
- Tow chains or rope
- Tire chains
- Canned compressed air with sealant for emergency tire repair
- Cat litter or sand to help tires get traction, or road salt to melt ice
- Booster cables with fully charged battery or jumper cables
- Hazard or other reflectors
- Bright colored flag or help signs, emergency distress flag, and/or emergency flares
- Road maps
- Items to stay warm such as extra hats, coats, mittens, and blankets
- Windshield scraper
Always listen to your local weather forecasts for any updates, and make sure you have emergency supplies handy and stocked.
If you have pets, bring them indoors. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they have access to unfrozen water.
Always make sure that if you are heating your home, you do it safely. Keep an open heater away from flammable objects.