To Prepare For A Snowstorm

by Hobbies

During snowstorms stay indoors, avoid overexertion when shovelling snow, keep dry, and drive only when absolutely necessary.

To avoid hypothermia if caught outdoors during a blizzard, stay hydrated and nourished. Keep the blood flowing by moving around. Build a snow cave to block the winds. Do not eat snow, it will further reduce your body temperature. Travelling is highly discouraged during blizzard conditions. If you must travel, it is vital to have an emergency kit with water, non-perishable snacks, road flares, jumper cables, and tow rope, in case your car breaks down, you get into an accident or become stuck in the snow. These are a few essentials you need to remember, in case you get caught in a snowstorm.

Travelling Is Highly Discouraged During Blizzard Conditions

Fierce icy winds
Fierce icy winds

Before winter approaches, it is worthwhile to stock on snow shovels and other snow removal equipment, dry seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove, adequate clothing and blankets, and sand to improve traction. Minimize travel, bring pets inside during winter weather, move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water. 

Check your car for sufficient anti-freeze levels, battery and ignition system, wear in brakes and fluid levels, and fuel and air filters. Check the exhaust system for leaks and crimped pipes, ensure heater and defroster work properly, and maintain proper washer fluid level and windshield wiper equipment. 

You need to stock up your vehicle emergency kit with flashlight, extra batteries, water, food, matches, extra hats, blankets, and mittens, shovel, first aid kit with pocket knife, necessary medicines, tow chain or rope, road salt and sand, booster cables, and fluorescent distress flags, to mention a few.

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How To Winterize Your Home

Insulate the walls and attics of your home. Caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, installing storm windows or covering them in plastic could provide extra protection. Get the heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected on a yearly basis. Conserve fuel if necessary. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms.

Clear the rain gutters, repair roof leaks, and cut away the tree branches that could fall on your house or other structure during a storm. Insulate pipes with plastic and allow the faucets to drip a little, as running water prevents pipes from freezing. If pipes freeze, remove any insulation and wrap them in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes.

Keep fire extinguishers on hand, as most people turn to alternate power sources due to lack of electricity during storm conditions, and house fires pose an additional risk. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning likely due to increased use of gas-powered furnaces and alternative cooking and heating equipment used inappropriately indoors during power outages, never use a generator, camp stove, grill, or other gasoline, charcoal, or propane burning devices inside a home, garage, basement or any partially enclosed area. Keep these devices at least 20 feet away from doors, windows and vents to prevent the toxic gas from getting inside your living space. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least 3 feet away from flammable objects. Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas. If such an alarm sounds, open the windows and doors or move quickly to fresh air location outdoors. Call for help and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.

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When Amidst A Snowstorm

During snowstorms stay indoors, walk carefully on snowy walkways, avoid overexertion when shoveling snow, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it, when possible.

Keep dry, change winter clothes frequently. Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight warm clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and made of water repellent material. Wear mittens, that are warmer than gloves, and hats to protect your head.

Drive only if absolutely necessary, travel during the day, and in a company. Keep others informed of your schedule, route, and destination, that you can get necessary help if hit by a disaster.Stay on main roads, and avoid shortcuts. If a blizzard traps you in your car, turn on hazard lights and hang a distress flag from the window.  Stay inside your vehicle if a safe location is neither nearby nor visible. Begin to walk if outdoor conditions are safe, you have appropriate clothing, and distance to call for help is accessible.Distances are distorted by blowing snow. A building may seem close, but be too far to walk to, in deep snow. Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. When the engine is running, open a downwind window slightly for ventilation. In extreme cold use seat covers and floor mats for insulation. Take turns sleeping, with one person awake at all times to look for rescue crews. Be careful not to waste battery, budget the use of lights, heat, and radio. Once the storm has passed, follow instructions from emergency management agency to determine the safest route to get home.


Reference source:

Updated: 01/05/2016, Hobbies
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