How to Prepare for a Winter Storm | Tips to Keep You Safe
Severe winter weather can wreak havoc on families, especially when they’re not adequately prepared. Frozen pipes, vehicle wrecks, loss of electricity. These are just some of the disastrous things that can occur when people don’t act with caution during blistering cold weather. Here are some helpful tips to keep you and your loved ones safe as we all continue to bear the brunt of winter’s bite.
What to Do before a Winter Storm
Canadians have been faced with many a winter storm, so for many of you, this could just be a refresher. It doesn’t hurt to go through the steps again. You may even pick up something new along the way that you hadn’t thought of.
- Gather your family and talk about what you will do if a winter storm arrives. This is especially important if you have young children. Uncertainty can be scary for children, so get a game plan together to help alleviate some of their fears, whether they’re rational or irrational. If your child’s fears are irrational, help them understand why that’s the case.
- Put a box together packed with essential supplies you would need if the power were to go out. Include things like flashlights and batteries, bottled water, portable chargers for your phones and laptops, snacks, hand warmers, etc. You could also purchase a wood or coal-burning stove. For added peace of mind, consider purchasing a backup generator.
- Make sure all your vehicles are winterized. A winter-ready vehicle has an ice scraper in the glove compartment, good tires and brakes, a full (or close to full) tank of gas, efficient wipers and plenty of wiper fluid, oil, working lights and a working heating system. It’s also a good idea to pack a bag of supplies in case your cark breaks down and help isn’t readily available. This bag should include essential items such as a blanket, hand warmers, warm clothing, water and food, a portable phone charger, and anything else you think you might need.
- To avoid injuries during and after a storm, buy bags of sand to pour over any ice that has formed near your home.
- Prepare your home’s pipes by allowing your faucets to drip. Open the cabinet doors below to allow for heat to surround them. Doing both of these will help to prevent your pipes from freezing. You do NOT want to deal with a busted pipe during severe winter weather. Read these tips from Alberta Water Services for further help on prepping your pipes.
- If the outside temperature is too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet. It’s especially important to keep your furry friends inside if a winter storm is on its way.
What to Do During a Winter Storm
- Avoid going outside and traveling if you can. If you need to go outside, wear proper clothing, such as warm socks, gloves, a hat, a jacket and scarf. If you’re shoveling snow, don’t over exert yourself; take it slow and take breaks! If you must leave, drive with caution and plan your route ahead of time. Write down the route you’re taking for your family so that they can easily locate you if your car can’t handle the road conditions.
- Check local news from your smartphone, tablet or laptop to stay up to date on weather conditions. If you still have power, turn on your television and keep the news on.
- Have your pet inside at all times. Make sure they have a warm place to lie down.
- If you need to let your pet out to go to the bathroom, find a place outside your home that has some kind of covering. Keep your pet on a leash to ensure they remain close. Consider putting a coat and some boots on your dog for extra protection.
- Keep hydrated and warm by drinking hot tea or hot chocolate. This will help stave off the cold! Plus, who can say no to hot chocolate?
What to Do After a Winter Storm
- Continue monitoring the weather. Just because the storm has passed doesn’t mean it’s safe to go outside just yet.
- Avoid traveling until conditions have improved.
- Once it’s safe to go outside, pour sand on your driveway and walkway to prevent people from slipping. If you have to shovel snow, do so slowly to avoid exhaustion.
- Make sure to wear appropriate clothing when going outside to avoid frostbite and hypothermia. If your clothes get wet, go inside as soon as possible and change into dry clothes. Warm yourself by drinking hot tea or sitting by a fire.
- You can let your pets out, but still act with caution. Limit their time outside and always have an eye on them.
If you run into an electrical emergency during a winter storm, we at 24/7 Electric will do our absolute best to help you as soon as possible. We understand how an electrical problem can put you in a vulnerable position, especially during inclement weather. Give us a call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!