Surviving A Winter Storm

Surviving A Winter Storm
Surviving A Winter Storm

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Make your home safe from winter storms. Most people get injured or killed during winter storms because they were not prepared. Being exposed to such elements can cause hypothermia. Winter storms can cause severe weather and make traveling virtually impossible.

Freezing temperatures, icy roads, strong winds, hail, sleet and heavy rains can last for days with no end in sight. It’s important to be prepared for such conditions. Here are some important survival tips:

  • Ensure your home is properly insulated. Make all attempts to keep the cold air out.
  • Insulate your water pipes by wrapping (use newspaper, plastic, etc) them so they don’t freeze. Know where the main water valve shut off is and how to turn it off.
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  • Let your faucets drip. This can help keeping the pipes from freezing over.
  • If using a portable heating device to stay warmer, don’t sleep next to them and keep all flammable material (mainly blankets) away. Keep a fire extinguisher in the home in case of an emergency.
  • Have your home checked for any structure damage before and after severe weather has passed or when time and conditions permit. Severe storms bring destructive elements that could cause structural damage to your home.
  • Insulate your pipes with by wrapping them in newspaper and plastic wrap. In addition, let your faucets drip a little during freezing weather. This will help prevent your pipes from freezing.
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These are some things to look for and take care of before a winter storm occurs. These precautions could potentially help keep your family safe from injury or even death.

Vehicle

It is important to know that it is not recommended you travel in severe winter storms. If you must drive or if you are stranded in your car, here are some important survival tips:

Preparations to make on your vehicle before the winter storm:

  • Make sure gas tank if filled.
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  • Check to make sure the car battery and ignition are working properly.
  • Check to make sure the heater and defroster are working properly.
  • Get a full vehicle inspection to ensure it is working properly (check: lights, tires, fluids and liquids are topped off, etc).
  • Load vehicle up with extra blankets and warm clothing.
  • Have an emergency survival kit accessible (within reach).

Only travel if you must. It is very dangerous to attempt to drive during a winter storm. This precautions could potentially help keep your loved ones safe from injury or even death.

How to Prepare

Winter storms happen all the time. These storms are very unpredictable so preparing is the best thing you can do.

  1. Get Information

Know what to do after a winter storm. Know and learn what local, state and federal resources are available to you and where you can go to get help, if any. Keep in mind that resources may be limited so try not to rely on government entities to offer much help or assistance in the beginning.

  1. Have A Plan

Discuss and train before a winter storm occurs and make all attempts to be prepared as much as possible. Every family member should have a role to play and know what to do before, during and after a winter storm hits. Make sure they know the location of all emergency kits, where to meet, who to contact, and much more. Here are some questions to consider:

  • who will be in charge and give instructions and directions on the search and recovery?
  • what exits are closest to you and how will you safely get out?
  • when is it a good time to start start moving around or start evacuating?
  • where will you go or where will everyone meet up? Is there a rally point?
  • why do we need a plan? why do I need to learn what to do?

Having a well thought out plan can have a major impact on the outcome of an emergency.

  1. Prepare An Emergency Kit

The kit should contain the following basic items:

  • food
  • water
  • fire
  • shelter
  • first aid/medications
  • communication
  • alternative energy source
  • clothing (cold weather, blankets)
  • weapons
  • gear

Other essential tools to have available would be shovels, snow removal equipment, rock salt and perhaps some sand. This will make clean up and being able to safely walk around a bit easier to do.

Prepare a cold weather emergency kit (or several kits) with enough resources to last at least 3 days. If possible, keep at least 2 different kits so that family members can have options of reaching them. Take into consideration the family member count and what particular items are considered essential to survive (medications, certain types of foods, etc).

Part of being a good citizen is not being dependant on the government, especially after a disaster. Emergency services will be stretched extremely thin in the aftermath of a such a disastrous event. Preparing for an emergency allows first responders to help those who truly need assistance instead of helping you who (now) knows better and could have prepared for the unknown.

If you have a family, you are well acquainted with the responsibility that comes with caring for them. Preparing for a disaster is simply part of providing for and protecting your family. Not to prepare would be like failing to provide a warm coat for your child on a bitterly cold winter day.