Every winter, snowstorms are in the forecast throughout most North American regions. Many of us have experienced frigid winter temperatures in wintertime, but if you haven’t updated your preparedness kit in a while, there is always more you can do to ensure the safety of you and your family before the next winter storm hits.
FIVE WAYS TO PREPARE FOR BLIZZARDS AND SNOW STORMS
- Know your risk. How prepared is your region for winter weather? How well do residents in your community drive on icy roads? Southern snow storms obviously take more time to recuperate from because they have less snow removal equipment. If you live in the south, prepare for many schools and businesses to be closed for days.
- Build a preparedness kit. We update our kit every year. FEMA has an excellent list. Also, keep a preparedness kit in your car! Never leave the house without a water bottle, cell phone, hand sanitizer and umbrella. I keep other important items such as a flashlight, blanket, first aid kit, granola bars, ice scraper/snow brush, shovel, windshield washer fluid and cell phone charger in my car. Make sure your tires are in good shape, you have at least a half tank of gas and your car is running smoothly too. Check out our car emergency kit list.
- Have a back-up plan for power. Make sure you and your family can survive without electricity for at least 3 days. Invest in a generator, especially if you live in an area frequented by power outages.
- Start a conversation with your family, neighbors and employer. Do you have a plan—including a plan for your family and pets? Would any of your elderly or special needs neighbors need help if they lost power? Does your employer expect you to be at work during a winter storm?
- Don’t overexert yourself when outdoors in the cold weather. The American Heart Association says the strenuous activity of shoveling snow can take a toll on your body and can actually increase your chances of having a heart attack. While you may think you’re OK, someone you know may not be. Take an American Red Cross CPR/First Aid/AED course to learn life-saving skills! Pet CPR courses are also available in some areas.
Preparedness is power! Don’t be left out in the cold during the next winter storm.