Are You Ready for Winter Weather? 12 Ways to Prepare
Winter is on its way; there's no getting around it. Taking the following steps can help you get prepared for what's ahead and give you peace of mind:
Replace the batteries in your clocks. You never know when winter weather will knock out the power overnight. Don't be left scrambling the next morning.
Replace lightbulbs inside and out. Shorter days mean you'll be relying on artificial light to get through the long winter nights.
Check and replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Check your fire extinguishers. If the arrow in the gauge on the top is in the green, you're good to go. If it's in the red, it's time to recharge or replace your extinguisher.
Practice generator safety. Check your generator’s wiring to minimize the risk of fire. Make sure you have adequate fuel and store it well away from your generator. Keep your generator outside when in use; do not run it in the house, garage or any enclosed space.
Ensure your space heater is rated for indoor use. In the event your furnace goes out, do not attempt to heat your home with a camp stove, gas grill or charcoal grill. These release carbon monoxide, which is dangerous to humans and animals.
Prepare a winter emergency kit for your car. Essential items include warm clothes, hat and gloves; a blanket; a flashlight and extra batteries; bottled water and nonperishable snacks; flares; jumper cables; and sand or kitty litter for traction.
Review your inclement weather emergency supply kit and replenish items as needed.
Prepare a cold and flu supply kit. Including items like a thermometer, non-aspirin fever reducer, cough medicine and decongestants, along with canned soup, ginger ale or lemon lime soda, and plenty of tissues means you'll be prepared if illness strikes.
Cover outdoor faucets and insulate water pipes. This will help to prevent them from freezing. If the temperature really takes a nosedive, open faucets slightly and allow them to drip.
Plan ahead for backup child care.
Plan alternative transportation arrangements, such as borrowing a vehicle or hitching a ride to work.
Knowing you are prepared can help reduce the stress and anxiety that often come with winter and the threat inclement weather.
About the Author
Scott Supernaw, DBA, MSEd, CEM, is the system-wide manager of Cone Health Emergency Management and Continuity of Operations.