With dropping temperatures and seasonal changes, it's natural that winter storms are on their way. Depending on what region of the country you may live in, the likelihood or a snow storm may be slim. However, for areas that are prone to heavy winter weather, being prepared before the season begins and having a plan in place can help ensure that you're ready for whatever Old Man Winter has in store. Once the threat of winter precipitation is real, here are some simple steps that you can take to make sure that you're as prepared as possible.
Stay Tuned to the Weather
You may know that a winter storm is on its way, but weather can be unpredictable. Staying tuned into weather reports, social feeds, and push notifications help you stay one step ahead of the weather. Thanks to modern technology, any cell phone, laptop, or tablet can be an info hub to track the coming storm - and then queue up a movie or two when the snow settles in.
Create an Emergency Supply Kit
While meteorologists have gained access to plenty of new technology that provides more accurate weather predictions, a weather report is still just that - a prediction. Creating emergency supply kits provides assurance that you're ready to weather the storm with all of the necessary resources. The National Weather Service provides a list of recommended supplies to keep on hand in your home, your office, and your vehicle.
Home and Office:
- A flashlight and extra batteries.
- Battery-powered NOAA weather radio and portable radio to receive emergency information. These may be your only links to the outside.
- Extra food and water. High-energy food, such as dried fruit or candy, and food requiring no cooking or refrigeration is best.
- Extra medicine and baby items.
- First aid supplies.
- Heating fuel. Fuel carriers may not reach you for days after a severe winter storm.
- Emergency heating source, such as a fireplace, wood stove, space heater, etc. Learn to use properly to prevent a fire, and be sure to have proper ventilation.
- Fire extinguisher and smoke detector. Test your units regularly to ensure they are working properly.
Cars and Trucks:
- Blankets/sleeping bags
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First-aid kit
- High-calorie, non-perishable food
- Extra clothing to keep dry
- A large empty can and plastic cover with tissues and paper towels for sanitary purposes
- A can, candles and water-proof matches to melt snow for drinking water
- Sack of sand (or cat litter)
- Windshield scraper and brush
- Tool kit
- Tow rope
- Booster cables
- Water container
- Compass and road maps.
Prepare for a Power Outage
Even with today's infrastructure, there is always the chance of a power outage. When a storm is on its way, taking the time to fully charge all of your devices provides you with as much time as possible to stay in touch with friends, family, and emergency services if needs arise. Additionally, it's wise to invest in a power bank - a large battery that is able to charge a device multiple times when the power is out. Depending on your model, your power bank may also come with solar charging capabilities.
It's also important to stock up on fuel for cars, generators, and heaters. Both kerosene and gasoline go bad over time, so making sure that you properly dispose of outdated fuel and replace it with fresh stock can help keep you warm when the temperatures drop.
Leave Faucets Dripping
With colder weather comes an increased risk for pipes to burst, causing not only an inconvenience to your family, but also severe damage to your home. When colder temperatures are expected, leave faucets dripping to keep water flowing throughout the night to combat freezing temperatures and prevent damage.
Bring Pets Indoors
Don't forget about the furry friends! Bringing cats and dogs indoors ensures that they are safe, warm, and taken care of out of the harsh winter temperatures. If they're normally an outside animal, making a safe space indoors for them to spend time in without damaging furniture or flooring can help make sure that they are comfy and satisfied without damaging your home.
No matter how prepared you may be, winter weather brings plenty of risks for property owners - from homes to cars and everything in between. Having custom insurance coverage that you can count on provides assurance that you're completely prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store. Our team at Lowry Insurance is always available to explore your options and pick a plan that is right for you.