The threat of a big winter storm is often a cause of anxiety for parents and caregivers. Having young children to keep occupied and in good spirits can make a winter storm even more challenging. Create a plan or checklist you can turn to when the weather report starts warning of a snowstorm. Here are seven things you may need to do.
Check you supplies
- Make sure you have a snow shovel and ice melt to keep walkways clear and safe.
- Check that you have sufficient heating fuel for your home and fuel for your generator, if you have one.
- If you will be using a fireplace or wood-burning stove, you should have a good supply of dry, seasoned wood.
- Have warm clothing and blankets on hand, and stock non-perishable food items and necessary medications to last you and your family for several days.
Get ready for a power outage
- Turn your heat up now, and close off any rooms that are not in use.
- Check pipe insulation, and if you lose power, allow water to run at a trickle to prevent pipes from freezing.
- Charge your battery-powered electronic and communications devices.
- Keep a battery-powered radio on hand to stay aware of changing weather conditions.
- Get out your flashlights, batteries, first aid kit and other emergency supplies.
Stay warm and safe
- If you start a wood-burning fire, follow all fireplace or woodstove safety precautions.
- Do not use an oven or a range as a home heating device.
- If you have a generator, only use it outside, where there is sufficient ventilation.
- Test all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they work properly.
- Do not let candles burn unattended, and keep them away from combustibles. Battery-powered LED lights are a safe, energy-efficient alternative to traditional candles.
- If you have an ice dam prevention system, turn it on before the snow starts to fall.
Stay inside and safe
- Drive only if you absolutely must, and be sure your car is outfitted with snow tires and has adequate fuel and an emergency supply kit.
- If you go outside to shovel snow, know your limits and try not to overtax yourself.
- Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing layers of warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
- Keep your pets inside, or make other suitable arrangements for them.
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