When you are a school-aged kid, nothing beats the excitement you feel when you get the announcement that school is closed and you get to have a snow day! With snow shovels in hand, many of our neighborhood kids, start parading door to door in search of snow removal work. Others line the hill by “the big tree” and race up and down until their feet and toes can no longer bear the wet winter bite.
Fortunately where we live, the excitement stays alive because the amount of snow we tend to receive is nothing close to what our friends in Boston are experiencing this year. Still, it is important to remember to be prepared for winter storms, regardless of the severity, to stay safe during these times.
Mirowski Inspections recommends following American Red Cross guidelines. These are to know the difference in weather advisories, prepare for winter storms and put supply kits together.
Know the Difference
- Winter Storm Outlook –Winter storm conditions are possible in the next 2 to 5 days.
- Winter Weather Advisory –Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.
- Winter Storm Watch –Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.
- Winter Storm Warning –Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.
How to Prepare for a Winter Storm
- Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
- Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
Put Together a Supply Kit
- Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
- Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery
- Warm coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and extra blankets and warm clothing for all household members
- Ample alternate heating methods such as fireplaces or wood- or coal-burning stoves
So, whether or not Mother Nature’s snow and ice are hitting you hard this year, make sure you have a few supplies on hand to save you a lot of discomfort and trouble when the storm hits. Then when you’re done, bundle up, grab your sled, and let your childhood memories warm you as you zip down your neighborhood hill.