Safety & Sanitation – Are you Prepared for a Winter Emergency?
The severity of a winter storm depends on your location, but if there is even the slight possibility that winter weather could impact you severely, preparation may prevent injuries. This winter, take a few extra steps to ensure that you are ready to deal with everything from freezing pipes to power outages. Here are a few ways to do so:
- Keep an emergency preparedness kit stored in your home or property where it cannot be damaged by precipitation. The kit should contain at least three days worth of water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, batteries, a radio, flashlights, blankets, warm clothes, and a heater that does not rely on electricity such as the Mr. Heater Tank Top Heater from EquipSupply.com. This portable heater warms up to 400 square feet and has an automatic low oxygen shutoff system.
- Clear your storm drains along the curb to enable water to drain properly. If drains are plugged, there is the possibility that the blocked water will go into low-lying areas and flood basements.
- Weatherproof your home by installing weather-stripping, caulking and insulating all doors, windows, and walls. Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls so the pipes are less likely to freeze. Teach everyone in the house how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts.
- Install battery-operated carbon monoxide (CO) detectors near sleeping areas.
- Keep fire extinguishers on hand and make sure everyone in the house knows how to use them.
- Clean gutters to prevent ice dams from forming, as they can lead to interior damage.
- Purchase the necessary snow equipment for blizzards, including shovels, sand, salt, etc.
- Create a family communication plan since everyone may not be together in the event of a sudden storm. Know how you will contact each other, how everyone will get back together, and the gathering point.
- Keep your vehicle’s gas tank at least half full at all times to avoid fuel lines from freezing up and getting ice buildup in your tank.
- In addition to keeping an emergency kit on your property, prepare one for your vehicle as well. Include batteries, a radio, flashlights, a windshield scraper, jumper cables, a shovel, blankets, a first aid kit, non-perishable food, the Mr. Heater Tank Top Heater, and bottled water.